Correcting the first holding flag thrown on a Alabama offensive lineman in 42 quarters was up to someone on the payroll.
“Coach got in his ear pretty good,” the starting center said. “That was a QB draw, and he did hold the guy. Those are rookie mistakes and just part of the growing pains of playing.”
But how valid is that streak? Could the line really go 42 quarters without grabbing some jersey?
“The way I look at it, if they didn’t call it, it didn’t happen,” Vlachos said.
The emphasis on keeping the hands inside when blocking is the biggest reason the streak lasted as long as it did.
And when a defender happens to put enough of a move on a lineman to find daylight, there isn’t much of a decision to make.
“You don’t really have time to think about that,” Vlachos said. “Jerseys are made so well today. They’re very tight. They’re very hard to grab, so there aren’t a lot of instances where you see a jersey really being pulled away from a defender.”
• The Bobcat: Alabama’s “Wildcat” formation saw a new wrinkle against Penn State when wide receiver Marquis Maze took the direct snap for the first time.
Just don’t call it the Wildcat when Maze is the quarterback.
“It’s called bobcat, because you know a bobcat is faster than a wildcat,” he said with a smile. “I enjoy it. At practice I’m asking for it every time we go out. Hopefully we’ll run it more.”
The receiver known as one of the faster players on the roster has the ability to throw the ball if needed. Maze was a quarterback at Tarrant High School in Birmingham and threw for about 1,000 yards as a junior.
• Ingram practices again: Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram practiced again Tuesday without a sign of a limp two weeks after his arthroscopic knee procedure.
After practice, fellow running back Trent Richardson said Ingram looked as if nothing happened to his left knee at the end of the Aug. 30 practice.
“I wrote him just last night,” Richardson said. “’I’m glad to have you back, big bro,’ There’s nothing like having him in the backfield with me.”
— Michael Casagrande