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No. 1 Tide Opens SEC Play with Dominating, 59-0, Win at Vanderbilt...

on 9/24/2017 Click Here To Comment!

Crimson Tide Football:

A stout running game coupled with a stifling defense led the No. 1 University of Alabama football team to a 59-0 win at Vanderbilt in the Crimson Tide's Southeastern Conference opener.

Alabama (4-0, 1-0) rolled up 496-rushing yards, the most in head coach Nick Saban's UA tenure, to go with a program-best 38 total first downs in the victory. The Tide collected 677 total yards of offense and came away with six rushing touchdowns, two receiving scores and a field goal to tally the final score.

Junior running back Damien Harris led the rushing attack with a career-best 151 yards on 12 carries and three touchdowns. Junior running back Bo Scarbrough added 79 yards on 11 carries, including two touchdowns. Seven other Alabama players rushed the ball, including another rushing touchdown by freshman running back Brian Robinson, Jr.

Playing exclusively in the second half, freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa tallied 103 yards on 8-of-10 passing and two touchdowns, one to rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and the other to another freshman wide receiver Devonta Smith.

The Crimson Tide defense limited the Commodores to 78 total yards of offense, including a stingy 40 yards on the ground and 38 passing yards. Senior linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton led the defense with five tackle, including two solo stops.

One play after Vanderbilt's opening drive was extended by a penalty, junior defensive back Ronnie Harrison brought it to an abrupt end, intercepting a tipped ball at the UA 31-yard line. It was Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur's first pick of the season.

Alabama moved the ball into Vanderbilt territory on its opening drive, including 22-yards rushing by Harris on three attempts and a 10-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts to junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley, before senior JK Scott came in to punt, sending the ball 36 yards to pin the Commodores inside the five-yard line.

The Tide kept Vanderbilt pinned deep, forcing a three-and-out on the home team's second drive. Alabama took over on the Vandy 47-yard line after an 11-yard punt return by sophomore defensive back Trevon Diggs. 


Hurts opened the drive with an 11-yard pass to sophomore tight end Irv Smith, Jr. Senior wide receiver Cam Sims picked up the next first down after grabbing a tipped ball from Hurts out of the air and picking up 11-yards. From there it was back-to-back runs by Scarbrough into the end zone for the first score of the game. 

Scarbrough picked up 19 yards on his first carry of the game followed by the six-yard touchdown run. Senior place kicker Andy Pappanastos came on and drilled the point after to make it 7-0 with 6:16 left in the first quarter. It marked the first time Vanderbilt trailed in 2017.

After a six-play, 16-yard drive by Vanderbilt resulted in another punt, Alabama wasted no time in doubling the score to 14-0 on a short third drive. 


It was all Harris over the two-play, 35-second drive. Starting at the UA 30-yard line, Hurts found Harris for a nine-yard pass. Harris then picked his way through a crowd at the line of scrimmage on the next play before sprinting 61 yards up the middle for the touchdown. 

Pappanastos made the extra point kick to extend UA's lead with 3:32 left in the first quarter.

On the next play from scrimmage, sophomore linebacker Anfernee Jennings forced a fumble that was recovered by senior defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand at the VU 36. The Tide took advantage of the second turnover of the game when Harris closed the drive with a two-yard touchdown run up the middle. Pappanastos' extra point made it 21-0 with 42 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

Harris finished the first quarter with 85 yards on six carries and two touchdowns to lead the Tide.

After forcing another Commodore punt, Alabama marched down the field for the score in its longest drive of the game. After drives of seven or fewer plays in its first three touchdowns, Alabama took 13 plays to move 75 yards for its fourth consecutive scoring drive, capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Scarbrough. 


Pappanastos' extra point made it 28-0 with 9:09 remaining in the first half. In addition to Scarbrough's second touchdown of the game, Harris passed the 100-yard mark during the drive, totaling 103 with more than nine minutes left in the second quarter.

A three-and-out by Vanderbilt was followed by Alabama's first punt since the Tide's first drive of the game. The Commodores followed that by their fifth punt of the half.

Another 13-play drive by Alabama covered 71 yards and ended in a 22-yard Pappanastos' field goal to move the score to 31-0 with under two minutes to play in the half. The Tide outrushed the Commodores 249-32 in the opening half thanks in large part to Harris (109 yards and 2 TDs) and Scarbrough (72 yards and 2 TDs) who combined for 181 yards and four touchdowns.

Alabama outgained Vanderbilt 323-49 in the first half with Harris leading the way with 109 yards on nine attempts. Ridley led all receivers with 31 yards through the air on three catches

Harris opened the second half with a 15-yard rush, keying an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that he finished off with a two-yard touchdown rush, his third score of the game. Pappanastos hit the extra point to make the score 38-0 less than three minutes into the second half. At the end of the first drive of the second half, Harris had a new career-best 149 yards on the ground.

After another three-and-out possession by Vanderbilt, Tagovailoa came on at quarterback in the Tide's second drive of the second half, which ended with a 34-yard touchdown strike to Jeudy. The extra point by Pappanastos moved the score to 45-0.

Tagovailoa came right back after another three-and-out by the Commodores and hit Devonta Smith in the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown. 


The freshman quarterback showed off his athleticism on the play, completing the pass after a mad scramble in the backfield to avoid what looked to be a sure Vandy sack. The four-play, 58-yard drive, finished off by a Pappanastos point after, moved the score to 52-0. It was Smith's first career touchdown.

The Tide was driving when the third quarter ended. With Tagovailoa still in at quarterback, Alabama started the fourth quarter on Vanderbilt 29-yard line. 


Robinson raced 17-yards into the end zone on the third play of the fourth quarter for the first touchdown of his career. Pappanastos' extra point with 13:26 left in the game resulted in the final score.

Alabama returns home to Bryant-Denny Stadium next Saturday to take on Ole Miss at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.


Rolling With The Tide
 

Would love a shutout against Vandy, BUT not likely...

on 9/23/2017 Click Here To Comment!

Crimson Tide Football:


No. 1 Alabama @ Vanderbilt
When: 2:30 p.m. CST on Saturday, Sept. 23
Where: Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee - Capacity: 39,700
TV: CBS - Spread: Alabama by 18.5

Back during SEC Media Days in July, Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said he and his team would be ready when Alabama came to town.

Mason made it clear that he respected Alabama coach Nick Saban and what he's built in Tuscaloosa. He praised Saban for "the way he handles himself" and "the way he coaches his football team."
But Mason wanted everyone to know that he wouldn't be afraid.

"But here's what I tell you. I don't fear anybody, and our team as well," Mason said in the summer. "So when we line up to play Alabama, we got to line up to play Alabama. ... When we face Alabama, we're going to be ready to play."

Now, Mason and the Commodores (3-0) must do more than talk. They have to show no fear when No. 1 Alabama (3-0) travels to Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.

This is Alabama's first trip to Vanderbilt since 2007, and the first meeting between the teams since 2011.
While the coaches have never faced each other, Saban can see the growth Vanderbilt has made during Mason's tenure.

"They do a great job of executing on both sides of the ball," Saban said.

"I think the results that they've gotten so far this season certainly bear that out. The quarterback's a really good player and he's very efficient in what he does with the offense, run and pass. They make some explosive plays. They run the ball effectively. They're physical. Same way on defense."

"There's no question about the buy-in to the program and the job that he's (Mason) done there."
Commodores quarterback Kyle Shurmur has completed 49 of 69 passes for 703 yards, with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. He leads the SEC and is sixth nationally in passing efficiency (194.9 rating).

The Commodores are riding high off a 14-7 upset over then-No. 18 Kansas State on Saturday.
Vanderbilt fields a stifling defense powered by Mason's play-calling.

Vanderbilt leads the SEC in scoring defense (4.3 points per game), passing defense (95.3 yards per game) and total defense (198.3 yards per game). The Commodores allow only 3.44 yards per play.

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has struggled with his accuracy in the past, but this season he has thrown four touchdowns with no interceptions in 53 attempts, which have gone for 472 yards. He has rushed for 100 yards in each of the past two games and accounted for seven touchdowns this season, with no turnovers.

Vanderbilt safety LaDarius Wiley is one of the key players on the defense. He earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors against Kansas State after he contributed 11 tackles, intercepted a pass and knocked down two other pass attempts.

Vanderbilt's front seven lines up in a lot of odd fronts to give opposing offenses different looks.
"Most of the stuff that they do that is exotic is on loose play downs," Saban said.

"But I think what they're trying to do is create issues in the offensive line. All offensive linemen want to know who the four down linemen and the Mike (linebacker) are; that's who we have to block. When they're doing these kinds of things, it makes it much more difficult for them to ID the front and know who to block."

"So it's creating confusion to some degree but also they do a good job from a schematic standpoint of being able to attack you out of those things and get pressure and they've got some really good players to do it."

On the other side, Alabama is coming off a 41-23 win over Colorado State in which it surrendered 391 yards of offense. Colorado State also converted 10 of 17 third-down attempts. While Saban didn't like the way the team finished, he doesn't want anyone to panic about Alabama's defensive struggles.

It will help if linebackers Rashaan Evans (groin), Anfernee Jennings (ankle) are Dylan Moses are able to play this week after missing game time.

They each returned to practice, even if in a limited basis, early in the week.

"I think sometimes you lose sight of the fact that we are 3-0," Saban said. "We have improved in a lot of areas of our team and will continue to focus on the technical aspects of what we need to do to improve in some other areas."

The Crimson Fans pick is below:

CrimsonFan's Pick: Crimson Tide 34 - Commodore's 10

The only reason we don't put it down as a shutout is, Bama's 'D' hasn't been as dominating as most thought they would be, of course losing 5 LB's to injury hasn't helped, but a couple of those should be back for this game!

CBS so called expeerts are picking Vandy to cover the spread! Since Bama doesn't usually cover the line we're taking a little bit of a chance with a 24 pt. margin of victory...

Even al.com's leading picker, John Talty only has it as a 10 pt. win for the Tide! Their avg. score is Alabama 30.9 - Vanderbilt 11.4 which is a 19.5 margin, darn close to the official line of 18.5 as of now!

Rolling With The Tide
 

Crimson Tide Football Finishes Up Practices For Vanderbilt Trip...

on 9/22/2017 Click Here To Comment!

Crimson Tide Football:

The University of Alabama football team practiced at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility for nearly two hours in shells on Thursday afternoon.

The Crimson Tide continued worked its final full practice before traveling to Nashville on Friday afternoon. Alabama and Vanderbilt are set for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff at Vanderbilt Stadium. 


The SEC opener will air on CBS with Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson in the booth and Allie LaForce on the sidelines.

Alabama and Vanderbilt will meet for the 84th time on Saturday. The Tide leads the all-time series, 59-19-4 (after vacations), and has won the last 21 contests dating back to 1985. 


Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 3-0 in his career against Vanderbilt, including a 2-0 mark with the Tide, while fourth-year Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason is facing the Tide for the first time in his career.

Rolling With The Tide
 

Crimson Tide Soccer Ties LSU, 1-1, in Tuscaloosa...

on 9/22/2017 Click Here To Comment!

Crimson Tide Soccer:

In a hard-fought battle under the lights, No. 24/RV Alabama women's soccer tied LSU, 1-1, in double overtime on Thursday night at the Alabama Soccer Complex. 

 The Crimson Tide (8-2-1, 0-1-1 SEC) and the Tigers (7-1-1, 0-1-1 SEC) both move to 0-1-1 after two conference matches.

"Incredibly frustrated and discouraged with the result,"
head coach Wes Hart said. 

"I am very proud of the effort of the team, except for when we needed it the most. It wasn't just our play. You have to give them [LSU] credit too with all of the blocked crosses and blocked shots that they had. They did a hell of a job defending. We created a lot of opportunities, but at the end of the day it wasn't enough."

The Tide controlled the ball for most of the game, registering a season-high 44 shots with 12 on goal after 110 minutes of play.

Thursday's draw marked the fifth time LSU and Alabama have ended play with no apparent winner, which is the most of any team in Alabama history. 


The match was also the eighth time the two SEC teams have gone into overtime, which ties with Auburn for the most games in a series history that needed extra time.

The Tigers pounced on the board early heading the ball into the net for the 1-0 advantage in the sixth minute

Not deterred from the one-goal deficit, the Alabama offense responded with a number of opportunities, but nothing would find the net in the first 45:00 minutes.

In the 13th minute, junior Abbie Boswell found herself open on a fast break, rocketing a shot that the LSU goalkeeper smacked out of play. Another chance came for the Tide in the 21st minute, when a cross in the box found redshirt freshman Chloe Maize who just missed the back of the net.

Right before the half, Alabama got its best chance of the stanza when senior forward Alexis Mouton slipped past an LSU defender deep into the box, shooting one that was stopped by a diving save from the LSU keeper.

In the second half, the Tide charged out of the gates hot scoring in the 50th minute, when junior Emma Welch crossed the ball into the box, setting up junior Christina Maartensson for the header to tie the game at 1-1. Maartensson's goal was only the third given up by LSU this season.

Eager to tally another goal, the Crimson Tide continued to attack the net launching 23 shots in the second stanza, but nothing fell through, and the match went into extra time.

In the two overtimes, Alabama's defense neutralized LSU's offensive output by holding the ball in their half of the field for the majority of extra time. Despite creating 11 scoring opportunities, nothing found the net and Alabama and LSU picked up their first draw of the season.

Alabama dominated the ball outshooting LSU 44-8 and earned 15 corners to the Tigers' two. Kat Stratton logged 110:00 minutes in the net and made three saves.

Alabama returns to the pitch on Sunday evening to take on No. 6 Florida at 5:00 p.m. CT in Gainesville, Fla.


Rolling With The Tide

Crimson Tide Soccer Ranked No. 24 in Soccer America Top-25 Poll...

on 9/20/2017 Click Here To Comment!

Crimson Tide Soccer:

Alabama soccer slipped to No. 24 in Soccer America's week five women's college top-25 rankings Tuesday after falling to No. 3 South Carolina last Friday and shutting out Chattanooga last Sunday.

The Tide was also among several teams that received votes on TopDrawerSoccer.com and NSCAA's top-25 rankings. 


Furthermore, Alabama remained at No. 6 in the NSCAA Southeast Regional poll.

Lastly, in the NCAA's first Ratings Percentage Index, the Tide was ranked No. 36 after ten matches.

Alabama's 8-2 record includes wins over Jacksonville State and Samford in week one, then-No. 6/4 Florida State in week two, South Alabama and Troy in week three, Kennesaw State and Tennessee Tech in week four and Chattanooga in week five. 


The Tide suffered its two losses to South Florida, 2-1, in overtime Aug. 24 and South Carolina, 1-0, in its conference opener Sept. 15.

Alabama first appeared on the Soccer America rankings list at No. 24 on Aug. 29 after outlasting the Seminoles, 1-0, on a goal off the foot of freshman Taylor Morgan. 


The triumph marked the first time Alabama defeated a top-10 ranked opponent and is the second win over an ACC team in school history. 

The Tide received its highest ranking on the Soccer America list on Aug. 12 after topping Kennesaw Tech and Tennessee Tech (No. 19).

Alabama kicks off its home Southeastern Conference slate on Thursday, Sept. 21 when it faces LSU at the Alabama Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. CT and will play against its third ranked opponent of the season on Sunday, Sept. 24 to battle No. 6 Florida in Gainesville, Fla. at 5 p.m. CT. Both games will air live on SEC Network +.


Rolling With The Tide
 

Tuesdays Practice Report - As Team Readies For Vanderbilt...

on 9/20/2017 Click Here To Comment!

Crimson Tide Football:

The team worked on the back field again as a quick rain storm just before practice made the normal outdoor fields not practical to use. 

That also made for a steam afternoon and the players were feeling it. The temperature was 87 with a feels-like temp of 95. 

Here is what we saw during the limited media viewing period.

Anfernee Jennings was dressed out but again looked a bit limited with the linebackers went through drills. He’s getting close and wouldn’t surprise me if he saw spot duty Saturday if he’s able to practice at some point this week. 


Of course the key there is if he’s able to practice with the rest of the team this week. Jamey Mosley led the outside linebackers along with Mekhi Brown, VanDarius Cowan, Joshua McMillon Christopher Allen and Ben Davis with Jennings at the back of the line.

At this point we’ll be shocked if Rashaan Evans doesn’t play significant snaps against Vanderbilt unless he suffers a setback this week. 


Shaun Dion Hamilton was behind him in drills followed by Keith Holcombe, Dylan Moses, Markail Benton and Mack Wilson.

No changes were apparent on the offensive line, which is settling into the five of Jonah Williams, Ross Pierschbacher, Bradley Bozeman, Lester Cotton and Matt Womack.


Rolling With The Tide
 

The Crimson Tide Began Preparations Monday for it's SEC Opener at Vanderbilt...

on 9/19/2017 Click Here To Comment!

Crimson Tide Football:

The University of Alabama football team put in a 75-minute session in shells on Monday afternoon indoors on the Thomas-Drew Practice fields in preparation for this weekend's Southeastern Conference opener against Vanderbilt.

The Crimson Tide's first practice of the new week focused on planning and preparation for a Vanderbilt passing game that ranks among the best in the conference.


The Commodores are led by head coach Derek Mason, who is in his fourth season at Vanderbilt. Alabama and Vanderbilt are scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff at Vanderbilt Stadium on CBS. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Allie LaForce will have the call for the Tide's first contest on CBS this season.

Practice will continue for the next three days before Alabama uses Friday to travel to its first true road contest of the 2017 season.


The Crimson Tide owns the all-time advantage, 59-19-4, and has won the last 21 contests dating back to 1985. Alabama is 27-14-2 all-time against VU in Nashville and has won the last 18 matchups in the Music City.

Nick Saban met with the media prior to practice on Monday afternoon. Following is his opening statement:

"Overall, I'm pleased with the progress that we've made as a team through the first three games. Sometimes you lose sight of the face that we are 3-0. We have improved in a lot of areas of our team and we'll continue to focus on the technical aspects of what we need to do to improve in some other areas to get some mistakes and mental errors corrected."


"We'll continue to try to develop the players so that they can have a better opportunity of being successful in whatever we have to defend, whatever we have to attack on offense, or whatever we have to play against on special teams.

"We had some players that played really well in this game: Jalen Hurts, Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough and Bradley Bozeman on offense, Keith Holcombe, Levi Wallace and Da'Ron Payne on defense, JK Scott, Mack Wilson and Andy Pappanastos on special teams. They all did a good job in their particular areas.

"From an injury standpoint, I don't know what the status of these guys will be but we'll see how they progress through the week, but Rashaan Evans, Anfernee Jennings and Dylan Moses will all return to practice today. Miller Forristall is out. What we thought was the issue and the case after the game was the case, and he will need surgery.

"We certainly look forward to the SEC, this is our opener on the road against a very good Vanderbilt team, who as you all know just beat Kansas State, who was a ranked team. They are 3-0 and they have a lot of starters back with nine on offense and seven on defense. Their defense leads the nation in scoring defense.


Kyle Shurmur is the leading quarterback in passing efficiency in our league. They do a great job in terms of their coaching and how they attack people and how they play on offense and defense. They're very sound and very well coached in all areas.

They're very balanced in terms of run and pass. They've got three receivers that all pretty much share in how they spread the ball around. This is a very good overall team and they're probably a team that deserves to be in the top 25."

Rolling With The Tide