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Grading the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 34-24 Loss to Texas

Alabama Texas

Week two of the 2023 College Football was going to be the real test for the #3 Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama hosted the #11 Texas Longhorns in one of the biggest games of the year. A win over the Longhorns would definitively make Alabama one of the top teams in the nation and justify the 20-19 win on the road last year. Alabama would immediately struggle with quarterback Jalen Milroe after a solid week one performance. While Milroe struggled incredibly, many other position groups struggled just as badly. The Tide was a disaster on both sides of the field as most of the position groups allowed the Longhorns to win 34-24. There were not many winners from the Saturday loss to Texas, so buckle up to see the multiple grades of all the position groups.

Grading the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 34-24 loss to Texas

Quarterback Jalen Milroe: D

Milroe played great in the 56-7 week one win over the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. He followed this great performance with an inefficient passing effort against an elite Longhorns’ defense. Milroe completed 14-of-27 of his passes for 255 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 140.8. He was able to find completions in short-yardage situations and found some great long-range to extend drives and score. But he was the definition of hot-and-cold with his passes as his mid-range was not complete often. His first interception was early and unsuitable for the Tide’s opening drive. His late interception was horrible as he failed to read an obvious defensive coverage from the safety in the zone. Not all of the offensive inefficiencies were not on Milroe, but he didn’t save the Tide as Bryce Young as last year’s matchup.

Running Back: B

The Tide had solid moments running the ball before they completely abandoned the game. Running back Jase McClellan ran the ball well as he ran for multiple yards after contact. Milroe had key moments in the run game in designed runs and scrambles. Alabama rushed for 107 yards on 35 carries for an average of three yards per carry. After the Tide abandoned the run game, the offense became one-dimensional and easy to stop.

Wide Receivers: B+

Much like the running back group, the receiver corp of Alabama wasn’t to blame for the offensive inefficiencies against the Texas defense. Several of the Tide’s top receivers found ways to get open against a highly efficient secondary of the Longhorns. There were not many drops from the pass-catchers as they got open in big moments but weren’t able to the ball due to the inefficiencies from Milroe. Kobe Prentice was the most efficient receiver as he caught five passes for 68 yards. Sophomore tight end Amari Niblack continues to develop as he caught two receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown. The development of some of the pass-catchers was among the biggest (and only) positive attributes of the Tide’s offense.

Offensive Line: D-

Many Tide fans are quick to blame the horrible momentum of the Tide’s offense on Milroe. While Milroe is to blame for most of the problems, the lack of consistency of the offensive line is a major problem. While it was difficult for the offensive line to block Milroe out of the pocket, they had a horrible performance blocking for Milroe while he was in the pocket. Freshman left tackle Kadyn Proctor was dominated by the defensive line of Texas. The Longhorns found ways to confuse the Tide’s offensive line through multiple blitzes and cross gaps. Alabama’s offensive line allowed the Longhorn’s defense to account for nine tackles for loss and five sacks. There were signs of inefficiencies last week against Middle Tennessee, but there was no progress or development. If the offensive line continues to show poor progress, the problem goes beyond the players.

Defensive Line: D

Much like the Longhorns dominated on one side of the line of scrimmage, the Longhorns won matchups with their offensive line. Alabama was unable to account for any pressure on Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers. Alabama accounted for three quarterback hits, two tackles for loss, and no sacks. There were plenty of situations where the defensive line was unable to shed off blocks and put pressure in the backfield. They were efficient in stopping the runs as the Longhorns rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries.

Linebacker: C

Among the defensive position groups that were least to blame were the linebacker corp. The middle linebacker did an efficient job of shutting down the running game for the majority of the game. Outside linebacker Dallas Turner came into the season needing to be the main pass rusher and he was shut down throughout the entire game. Turner accounted for three total tackles and a quarterback pressure. Much like Alabama’s defensive line, Turner was unable to get off blocks and put pressure on the quarterback. Trezmen Marshall and Deontae Lewis combined for 20 total tackles and 10 solo tackles.

Secondary: D

The secondary for the Crimson Tide might be the most loaded group of elite and high-caliber playmakers. At first, most of the secondary played great. Terrion Arnold had tough moments as he encountered three crucial penalties, two being pass interference. Safety Caleb Downs had his freshman moments against an electrifying passing offense. Kool-Aid McKinstry played well in the beginning but declined harshly late in the game. There was one play late in the fourth quarter where McKinistry gave no effort on coverage on a seven-yard passing touchdown from Ewers to Adonai Mitchell. Ewers found ways to dissect the Tide’s secondary to launch himself in the Heisman Trophy discussions.


Alabama Texas

Photo courtesy:  John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports


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