Postgame analysis of Alabama's 39-10 win over Missouri:
THREE THINGS WORTH TALKING ABOUT
Alabama has not faced adversity this season — until now.
First, DeVonta Smith came up lame on a 57-yard reception with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. He didn’t return.
Second, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa came out of the game after struggling to get up after a 9-yard run. He aggravated the knee injury he suffered last week and did not return. He remained on the sideline after putting a knee brace back on.
Third, receiver Henry Ruggs left the game after a reception with what appeared to be a leg injury. He was able to return though noticeably limping after a 29-yard reception in the fourth.
Taking out three of the team’s top weapons made an impact. Alabama failed to score an offensive point in the third quarter with a safety on an end zone sack being the Tide’s only points.
At halftime, Alabama led 30-10 but it didn’t feel right. There should have been more scoring? Isn’t there always? Twice, Alabama wiped touchdowns off the scoreboard because of holding penalties.
First, DeVonta Smith’s holding penalty wiped out a lengthy Henry Ruggs III touchdown up the sideline. Second, a Jonah Williams holding call inside the red zone nullified a Hale Hentges’ touchdown that would have allowed the Missouri native to score against his home state school.
Last week, Alabama gave up 31 points to Arkansas. Many questioned whether the sky was falling. The Crimson Tide defense can’t give up that many points to any team … ever. Alabama put the clamps down against Missouri and Drew Lock.
The Crimson Tide intercepted Lock twice, forced a fumble on a sack and tackled him in the end zone for a safety. Missouri was held to 212 yards of offense and only two yards per rush. The Alabama defense answered the bell when called upon.
Rushing offense — B: Alabama doesn’t appear to be particularly explosive including a few times when you thought the Tide would pound it in for a TD inside the 10.
Rushing defense — A: The Tigers saw limited success with running backs Larry Roundtree, Damarea Crockett and Tyler Badie and were held to two yards per carry.
Passing offense — A: Tua Tagovailoa’s Heisman Trophy campaign kept marching forward until the left-hander came up lame after a 9-yard scramble in the third quarter.
Passing defense — A: Saivion Smith stepped in for injured cornerback Trevon Diggs and intercepted Drew Lock twice. Tide forced a fumble from Lock and a safety.
Special teams — B: Joseph Bulovas made three of four field goal attempts while punter Skyler DeLong — in his first action since Sept. 22 against Texas A&M — shanked a 12-yarder.
Coaching — A: Alabama faced the best quarterback and offense it has seen yet and answered the challenge after some questions arose while giving up 31 points to Arkansas last week.
Overall — A: The starting offense with injury replacements had to play longer than it has all season, but the result was the same … another blowout victory.