Ryan Fowler’s Reaction: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – Utah State Edition
Every Monday, Nick Saban spends part of the afternoon showing his players the good plays, bad plays, and ugly plays from the previous Saturday.
The good section highlights what the team did well in the game; individual plays, series of plays, moments of the game that went good for the Crimson Tide.
The bad section focuses on plays that were run incorrectly, maybe a play designed to pick up more yardage but failed. It might include simple mistakes, a turnover or just a simple missed block or tackle.
The ugly section could also be called the disaster section, plays that went completely wrong or injuries. Ugly plays are learning moments for the team. Part of discussing the bad and ugly plays includes thinking through what they could have done differently.
Alabama vs. Utah State
Alabama played as clean of an opening game as you could expect against inferior competition. Saban mentioned, in the post-game press conference, that one of the goals for the game was to get some of the younger players experience to improve his team.
Depth on this team is a luxury at many positions, I thought the unit that stood out the most was wide receiver. The Crimson Tide had three receivers who caught 5 passes, I was also impressed with some of the younger receivers who will only improve as the season progresses.
Bryce Young picked up where he left off last season, except this time he showed his elusiveness with his first 100-yard rushing day as a collegiate player. Young is like a distribution center, he reads a defense quickly and takes what the defense is willing to give to the offense.
Alabama’s defense got what is expected to be a historical season, off to great start with a shutout, which is now rare in college football. Depth in the secondary has the potential to make this one of Saban’s better secondary units in Tuscaloosa.
My thoughts walking from the press box to the press conference was that the team could have showed more dominance in run-blocking ability. I did not think this unit pushed an inferior defensive front around on some of the running plays. Saban confirmed this in the press conference by saying he was not pleased in this area, which needed more consistency.
With that being said, I did think Gibbs and McClellan showed a one two punch that should be more effective as the season progresses. The offensive line did take some major steps in the right direction, I just thought they could have got a little more push on some rushing plays.
I could spend some the section highlighting the average crowd for the first home game, I am not sure what the excuse will be for the fans. Maybe they believed some of the early weather forecasts that called for more moisture on Saturday at Bryant-Denny stadium. Weather was a little humid at start of the game, but the rain stayed away from campus for the entire game. Hopefully, that will improve as the more meaningful games arrive in Tuscaloosa.
But my ugly this week goes to the presidents and chancellors who voted on Friday to expand college football playoffs to 12 teams. What did this group do for the last few months? Was the Friday before the first full weekend of college football the only convenient time for this group to meet via a teleconference.
I just thought it was disrespectful to players and coaches who have prepared for the last four weeks to get ready for the season. Complete attention should have been on coaches and players, not a group of money hungry, academic scholars who are looking to expand their yearly budget.
We can discuss whether we need more teams in the playoff system at a later date. Many analysts throughout college football spent hours discussing the expansion of the playoffs, I am guilty of this also on my show on Friday afternoon. I don’t blame this on the media, our job is to cover the news as it breaks. This is on the group who met on Friday afternoon and thinks they know what’s best for college football.
Coming up Monday on The Game with Ryan Fowler on Tide 100.9, we will discuss the good, bad, and ugly. You will also have a chance to win prizes from Daniel Moore Art, starting at 2 p.m. on Tide 100.9 and on the free Tide 100.9 app.
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