Postgame analysis of Alabama's 57-7 win over Arkansas State:
THREE THINGS WORTH TALKING ABOUT
When Austin Jones committed to Alabama as a graduate transfer from Temple in February, his personal coach, Nick Fleming, said Jones was one of the “monsters” coming out of All-American kicking.
That appears to have been inaccurate and misleading. As a junior at Temple last year, Jones made 10 of 12 field goals and all 23 of his extra points attempts.
That didn’t transfer to Tuscaloosa.
In two games, he’s already missed three extra points. He made his first one Saturday but pulled his second one to the left. His third hit off the right upright. He didn’t get another chance. Joseph Bulovas took over the duties the rest of the way
But does Alabama really need a kicker with what could be the best Tide offense under Nick Saban?
Honestly, that doesn’t appear to be a fair question this early … heck, it’s only two games into the 2018 season. But wait before a couple Southeastern Conference games and the answer will most likely be a resounding yes.
That’s averaging more than 50 points a contest now and that’s calling off the dogs in both games against teams that are expected to at least to contend for their respective conference championships.
Too many weapons … two championship-caliber quarterbacks … four running backs that could start on any team in the SEC … four young star wide receivers … and that’s not even mentioning a stable of tight ends that have not been used effectively yet.
This could get interesting because the Alabama freight train is picking up steam.
Published reports say an agreement between Saban and quarterback Jalen Hurts will keep the junior quarterback from playing in more than four games this season.
If Hurts doesn’t play in more than four games, he will graduate from Alabama in December and still have two years of eligibility remaining when he transfers before the following the season.
Don’t worry about it. Obviously, it’s not that big of a thing for Hurts to be concerned with now because he saw extensive action Saturday against Arkansas State.
If the Tide needs Hurts, whether it’s because of an injury suffered by Tua Tagovailoa or for a spark against a certain opponent, all Alabama fans know that Hurts will be there. He’s already proven his loyalty to the program.
Rushing offense — A: The Tide came up short on third-and-one and Jalen Hurts fumbled near goal line. But after those miscues, Alabama’s power and strength took over.
Rushing defense — B: Louisville gained 16 yards in the opener and Arkansas State was bottled up too until Armond Weh-Weh broke free on a 40-yard run in the first half.
Passing offense — A: After a near interception, Tua Tagovailoa took off with 175 first-quarter passing yards and touchdowns to Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs and Devonta Smith.
Passing defense — A: Alabama neutered a good Arkansas State offense led by a veteran quarterback and made the Red Wolves’ offense one-dimensional.
Special teams — D: Austin Jones missed two extra points and made way for Joseph Bulovas and Jaylen Waddle muffed punt return that Alabama recovered.
Coaching — A: Just watching how Nick Saban went immediately to the Bulovas to get him ready after Jones’ second missed extra point … that’s coaching, great coaching.
Overall — A: Other than kick, is there anything this team can’t do well? Arkansas State is not a powder puff non-conference opponent, but the Sun Belt Conference favorite, but the Tide made the Red Wolves look silly.