The #2 Alabama Crimson Tide had a chance to continue their rebounding since the shocking loss to Texas A&M by dominating LSU in Tuscaloosa. This past Saturday, Alabama was fueled by emotion and the need to dominate LSU and their head coach Ed Orgeron. Instead, the Tide encountered another struggle win against an inferior opponent as the game came down to the wire. Alabama struggled at several positions on both sides of the ball. This was one of the worst of Alabama’s wins in the Nick Saban era. Three of the last four games for the Tide against unranked teams like Texas A&M, Tennessee, and LSU have been massive disappointments. Alabama has several issues to address as they prepare for New Mexico State.
The Four Biggest Issues with #2 Alabama After Win Over LSU
The Offensive Line of Alabama Continues to Derail
The offensive line for Alabama has not played up to par with their high level of recruiting this season. There were signs in week one against the #14 Miami Hurricanes as they failed to pick up blitzes. The concern at the offensive line peaked in last Saturday’s win over LSU. Alabama only rushed for six yards on 26 carries for an average of 0.2 yards per carry. The offensive line allowed eight tackles for loss and four sacks from LSU’s defense. They were dominated at the line of scrimmage every drive to create a push for the run game, and they allowed quarterback Bryce Young to be pressured constantly. The interior offensive line continues to be a huge disappointment. Sophomore Damieon George played well at the right tackle while Chris Owens moved to center for the injured Darrian Dalcourt.
The Deep Passing Defense of Alabama is Too Inconsistent
Last year, Alabama’s defense had their worst performance in program history by giving up 647 total yards in the 63-48 win at the Ole Miss Rebels. The Tide’s inability to defend against the deep passing game was a huge concern. That problem still lingers as the safeties of Alabama continue to allow huge plays such as in the games against Texas A&M, Tennessee, and LSU. For example, against Tennessee, Alabama allowed two deep touchdown passes of 57-yards and 70-yards on busted deep coverages from the safeties. Last Saturday against LSU, Alabama allowed two big passing plays from quarterback Max Johnson to set up a Tiger touchdown. Safety Daniel Wright continues to be too inconsistent and late to the busted coverages. Even good players like Jordan Battle and Malachi Moore find themselves beat potentially to the ill-prepared coverage assignments from defensive coordinators Pete Golding and Charles Kelly.
Alabama Looks Unprepared in Three of Their Last Four Games
One of the biggest issues for Alabama every off-season is how the multiple coaching turnovers will hurt the team. There are five first-year coaches for Alabama, including offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and offensive line Doug Marrone. Alabama still looks like they are trying to their identity on the offensive side of the ball with these new coaches. A combination of no identity and poor preparations have plagued Alabama this season with their losses and close games. In the game against Tennessee, Alabama’s defense looked like they were not ready for a deep passing attack from quarterback Hendon Hooker. They constantly failed to assign coverages before the snap. Against LSU, it was the offense that looked lacking because they have underestimated the injury Tigers’ defense. For a Nick Saban-led team to be unprepared multiple times is concerning.
Alabama Encounters Slow Starts
Fans are starting to see the cracks that come with poor preparations in this Tide team on both sides of the ball. Alabama has encountered incredibly slow starts in three of their last four games. In the first quarter of the Texas A&M, Tennessee, and LSU games, Alabama has been outscored 38-14. Against Texas A&M and Tennessee, it was a combination of fast-paced offense and deep passing. Last Saturday, the offense couldn’t find an edge against a tenacious LSU defense. After the first quarter of those games, Alabama had outscored their opponents with an overall score of 96-41. While they got the win over Tennessee and LSU, they were in too much of a deficit to beat Texas A&M. If they are in a slow start against Auburn or Georgia in the SEC Championship, they might not be able to come back.