Tag Archives: Jalston Fowler

Football spring stats: Scrimmage No. 2

Alabama held its second of three spring scrimmages in Bryant-Denny Stadium this afternoon, with the final scrimmage being A-Day. Here are the stats that stick out.

Passing: AJ McCarron – 14 for 29, 160 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT. His touchdown passes were of 16, 11, 2 and 2 yards. Phillip Sims did not throw due to continued issues with his throwing shoulder, but did participate in some running plays. Phillip Ely threw one 2-yard TD pass.

Rushing: RB Jalston Fowler – 22 carries, 151 yards and 3 TDs. His touchdowns were of 3, 1 and 68 yards. No other runningbacks scored. I feel confident Dee Hart and T.J. Yeldon got some carries.

Receiving: DeAndrew White had a big return to the field today, catching 5 passes for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns. Christion Jones had a good day as well, catching 5 passes for 61 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kevin Norwood had four receptions for 54 yards and Chris Black had 2 receptions for 36 yards.

Defense: C.J. Mosley led the Tide today with 8 tackles. Damien Square had 5 tackles, 3 for a loss, and 2 sacks. Dee Milliner had 5 tackles and forced a fumble. Trey DePriest recovered that fumble to go along with 5 tackles. Both Vinnie Sunseri and Jesse Williams had 4 tackles, 2 of them for loss. Sunseri added a sack. HaSean “HaHa” Clinton-Dix had 4 tackles and 1 interception.

Punting: Cody Mandell punted 12 times with a 42.0 average, his long for the day sitting at 56.

Kicking: Cade Foster went 3 for 6. His makes were from 50, 20 and 20. His misses were from 46, 35 and 32.

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Football Practice Update: March 23rd, 2012

For today’s practice update, we’re going to go through the events of practice position by position and give you the latest news. Here we go.

Quarterbacks: Nothing new. AJ McCarron is the No. 1 guy, no doubt about that. Everyone else (Phillip Sims and Phillip Ely) are battling for No. 2.

Runningbacks: With the absence of Eddie Lacy for all of spring to the toe injury that hurt him all of last season and Blake Sims out for a spring break hip injury, the depth chart is looking like this. 1. Jalston Fowler. 2. Dee Hart.

A member of the scout team is running his reps before star recruit T.J. Yeldon. Yeldon is looking good though, he could move up soon. Nick Saban will make him earn it first though.

Wide Receivers: This has been a little bit of a revolving door, with guys going in and out of 1st and 2nd string. Today, Christion Jones, Kevin Norwood and Kenny Bell were in the No. 1 rotation. The No. 2 rotation was DeAndrew White, Danny Woodson Jr. and early enrollee Chris Black.

Offensive Line: Chance Warmack and Anthony Steen have been switching between left guard and right guard recently, probably to find the right chemistry. Here was today’s lineup, from left to right. Cyrus Kouandjio, Chance Warmack,  Barrett Jones, Anthony Steen and D.J. Fluker. Jones moving to center seems to be a very good move; has been throughout spring practice, anyway.

Defensive Line: Damien Square at his end of the line is almost the only set thing here. Alabama is experimenting a lot to replace Josh Chapman in the middle, even moving Jesse Williams in there from time-to-time. The possibility of a defensive end like Williams moving also puts a big question mark on that position too.

Linebacker: Still some shuffling and battling to do here. Nico Johnson and C.J. Mosley seem to be favorites. HaSean “Ha-Ha” Clinton-Dix has seen time there, Trey Depriest has seen time there, as have Adrian Hubbard and Xzavier Dickson. I have no choice but to throw a TBD in at this position. Sure, Johnson, Mosley and DePriest have an inside track, but the positions (Mike, Sam, Jack and Will) are far from determined.

Secondary: Safeties are pretty much set with Robert Lester and Vinnie Sunseri. Obviously, no one has a set starting job, but they are the closest to locked in as anyone else on the defense.

Cornerback is going to be interesting. There is Dee Milliner, coming off of a serious improvement last season from the season before it, but newcomers Travell Dixon and Deion Belue have shown the talent necessary to play right away at Alabama. I’ve also seen HaSean “Ha-Ha” Clinton-Dix see some reps at every secondary position.

So it’s safe to say the Tide is still experimenting in the secondary. That’s not surprising though, since Saban always holds his secondary to a higher standard of excellence than the rest of the team (not purposefully)

Special Teams: Long snapper Carson Tinker seems to be rather set in his starting role. The kicking situation is very fluid and the possibility of using a two-kicker system is more likely than not unless a freshman prospect blows the staff away. So, there will probably be more of Jeremy Shelley and Cade Foster in 2012 if spring practice is any indicator.

Cody Mandell’s competition from last year, Jay Williams, has left the football team to try his hand at baseball. So, it looks like Mandell is without a rival for the punting job, barring a newcomer that proves himself.

BrettAtBama Recap: Iron Bowl

I can’t decide if it was Leave No Doubt or Never Again. Whatever inspired this team to do that to their rivals, the Auburn Tigers, I think the Alabama faithful are enjoying it.

In the Breakdown, I made it clear that I felt like Alabama had to be physical on offense in order to win this game. In the first half, AJ McCarron certainly proved me wrong. The coaching staff felt confident in the mismatch they had when it came to their wide receiving corps and tight ends versus Auburn’s secondary. McCarron exploited this well in the first half on his way to three first half passing touchdowns, one on a fleaflicker to Kenny Bell, and 184 yards for the game.

Brad Smelley was big for the Tide today, catching six passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. Stat of the Day in the passing game: McCarron’s completion percentage, at 78.2%. That’s an astronomically high number for someone who caught so much heat coming in, being a well-known gunslinger type.

The second half, however, was exactly that physical style of play I thought Alabama was going to bring. Trent Richardson had 61 yards rushing in the first half, which was more than Auburn had given up in the first half of the previous two Iron Bowls, but was not exactly what Alabama fans that wanted Richardson to make a Heisman statement against Auburn were hoping for. Then Richardson turned it on in the second half, exploding to his final tally of 203, literally throwing Auburn defenders to the ground in the process.

Defensively, it was a great shut-down effort by the Tide D. The Tigers offense didn’t score at all in this game, 7 of those points coming from a pick-up 6 and the other 7 from a kickoff return. In the Breakdown, I stressed the ability of the Alabama defense being able to keep up with the offensive pace and stop the passing attack. For whatever reason, Auburn defensive coordinator decided to slow it down against a bigger defense. Not his smartest decision.

Why, you ask? Well, maybe it was the fact that Clint Mosley was held to 62 passing yards. Maybe it was the fact that Alabama’s third string running back, Jalston Fowler’s one carry of the day was longer than any attempt by Auburn ball carriers. Or maybe it was the fact that Auburn’s top two receivers combined to have less yards than Bell, who had only two catches all game long.

Coming into the game, the names that were supposed  to cause the Crimson Tide defense trouble were Onterio McCalebb, Michael Dyer, Kiehl Frazier and Phillip Lutzenkirchen. They combined to have 182 yards, less than what Richardson got by himself. Embarrassing.

But, on that topic, what about this win wasn’t embarrassing for the Tigers? (Patiently awaiting an answer). Seriously, if you can answer that question intelligently, shoot me an email. I want to know.

Now Alabama fans just have to sit and wait. The general consensus is that Alabama’s bowl game will be in New Orleans. Will it be the Sugar Bowl or the BCS National Championship Game? Only time will tell.

BrettAtBama Breakdown: Third Saturday in October

The time has finally come for Alabama’s first big rivalry game, this time hosting Tennessee in the Third Saturday in October.

Let’s start on the defensive side of the football. Tennessee is without starting quarterback Tyler Bray thanks to a broken thumb. His replacement, Matt Simms, is nothing to scoff at, but he is not as prolific in some areas as Bray, and making him uncomfortable will be a big part of this game. But, I think the Tide should focus more on stopping Tennessee’s running back Tauren Poole. Poole can be a steady threat if he goes unchecked. Poole is a substantially bigger threat than Simms is, and if the Tide keeps Poole in check, the Tide could easily hold the Vols to single digits.

On the offensive side of the ball, I would watch the offensive line. Although Tennessee is not the primetime program they used to be, they still get good front seven talent in recruiting and if the offensive line can keep them suppressed like they did against Ole Miss, Alabama will be able to let Trent Richardson and Jalston Fowler run away with this one, and hit Marquis Maze, Darius Hanks and DeAndrew White and company when the Vols commit to the run too heavily.

While on the topic of wide receivers, the Tuscaloosa News singled out White as a key player, and I agree with them. White is beginning to hit his stride in the McElwain offense. He had some growing pains earlier in the season, being a true freshman, but it looks like he has worked out the kinks and is ready to separate himself as one of the top three receivers on the team.

With the keys to this game laid out for you, enjoy your Gameday, and don’t forget to check back after the nightcap game tonight for the BrettAtBama Recap.

BrettAtBama Recap: Ole Miss

Well, well, well. What a game for the Alabama faithful, as the Crimson Tide goes to Oxford and beats Ole Miss by a convincing score of 52-7. Here are some of my thoughts on the game and things you should take away from this week’s game in the BrettAtBama Recap.

I felt like Alabama was dominant, to say the least, in the running game. Let’s put it this way. The third-string running back, Jalston Fowler, had 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns…on only nine carries. Not to mention that Trent Richardson likely put himself on the Heisman radar with his four rushing touchdowns off of 18 rushing yards.

But, I also think AJ McCarron has exceeded many expectations all season long, but especially in this game. McCarron’s 19-for-24, 224 yard and one touchdown performance was very methodical and precise, exactly what the fanbase hopes to get from its quarterback.

Defensively, I felt like the defense was a little flat, just like the offense was last week for a while. In the end, Alabama righted the ship and began to play the shutdown defense we have seen all year long.

Overall, I think the Tide fanbase needs to be very confident in the offensive line. They have been downright dominant recently and in the SEC, games can be won and lost in the trenches. Alabama has certainly been winning them in the trenches.

Looking forward, Alabama hosts hated rival Tennessee before taking a bye week in preparation for the super hyped game on Nov. 5th against LSU.

BrettAtBama Recap: Vanderbilt

It was yet another shutout victory for the Tide this week over the Vanderbilt Commodores, with the final tally being 34-0. The second half was a very impressive one for the Crimson Tide, but there were many lackluster ones as well. Let’s go through it all in this week’s BrettAtBama Recap.

In the Breakdown, I talked about the WR corps, mentioning that a little extra confidence would be nice for that group. After tonight’s game, DeAndrew White has all the reason in the world to be one of the most confident guys on campus. He had 58 receiving yards and two touchdowns on only three catches tonight, a performance that’ll get this true freshman going for the coming weeks. Marquis Maze also had a good game, grabbing nine passes for 93 yards.

Also, Alabama’s running game was all-in-all effective when it was used (we’ll get to that later), with Trent Richardson putting in 107 yards and a touchdown. Even Jalston Fowler saw some success, with 58 yards on 13 carries.

But, the performance wasn’t perfect. Let’s start with offensive playcalling. I felt like offensive coordinator Jim McElwain called for passes too often in this game. But, then again, I realize that this game could be seen as an opportunity to perfect some things in the offense. If that was the motivation behind it, that makes sense.

Even if that was the motivation, I don’t think happy would be the word to describe McElwain’s reaction to the aerial attack. AJ McCarron misplaced several throws and I’m sure he felt like there were a few throws that should have been caught, and he wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that.

Also, looking at this game defensively, the Tide looked to have a little trouble early, but once everything settled down, the defense played very well. This defense is, in my opinion, the best defense in the nation. No question about it. But, their one Achilles heel is that they seem to play somewhere between 22-28 minutes of the nation’s best defense (this is assuming that the opposing offense holds the ball for half of the game, equaling 30 minutes. I am aware that this normally doesn’t happen, as Alabama usually beats its opponent in time of possession, but this is easier). For evidence, look to the late touchdown Penn State scored and the late goal line drive by North Texas that ended in a goal line stand, among others that occurred tonight. It seems as if there is always a small lapse of focus. It hasn’t cost the team much this season, and if the lapse is that short, it might not. But with teams like LSU and a potential SEC East Champion in the SEC Championship game coming up, it would be nice if those lapses were to disappear.

Overall, I would say the Tide looked somewhere in between OK and good. As the Tide travels to Ole Miss next weekend, the quality of performance will be much more important analysis wise, as that game is followed with a game against hated rival Tennessee.

BrettAtBama Recap: Kent State

What a day to be a fan of the Crimson Tide. Alabama put it on the Kent State Golden Flashes today, as Nick Saban led his team to a 48-7 won over his alma mater.

Here’s what you need to know from the game.

If you remember from the Breakdown, the QB battle was a big deal coming in. Well, this game made some serious progress there. This was AJ McCarron’s game. He separated himself from Phillip Sims today, throwing for 226 yards and a TD in the game. Sims had 73 yards and no TDs. Both had two interceptions each, but one of McCarron’s was off of a tip that probably should’ve been caught by TE Michael Williams. Sims made many sloppy throws throughout his time in the game, so unless we see a changing course of epic proportions, I would get used to McCarron.

Also, we did see Jalston Fowler in this game, who was pointed out in the Breakdown as a key to telling how the depth at RB would play out throughout the year. Fowler looked good, getting four carries for 69 yards and led the team in rushing on what was a less-than-excellent game for starting RB Trent Richardson, who only had 37 yards, but did tally three rushing touchdowns.

Things the Alabama needs to work on offensively: run blocking. Especially in the guard position. Kent State may have the best run defense in their conference, but that conference is still the MAC, which is clearly weaker than the SEC. These problems need to be remedied quickly, or else it will be even harder for Richardson to get going as the season progresses.

Things the Alabama needs to work on defensively: pressure in the passing game, both in the trenches and in the secondary. In the trenches, credit must be given to the Tide for dominating the line for scrimmage, but it seemed like the only way sacks were created were from inventive LB and DB blitzes. The Bama D-Line needs to shed some blocks next week against Penn State. In the secondary, it was a simple problem of not jumping routes at every opportunity. It will be interesting to see if we see more of those things after the secondary gels together.

Player of the Game: Marquis Maze. Many are going to go with AJ on this one, but I feel like the fact that he earned front-runner status in the QB race is enough accolades. Maze had eight catches for 118 yards with one TD, and added 39 yards in the kick return game and 96 from punt returns for 253 all-purpose yards on only 17 touches.

Up next, the Tide has to go to Happy Valley to face Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions in the second year of a home-and-home series.