Daily Archives: October 14, 2012

Maybe the best tackle Missouri made all day

Alabama’s Christion Jones flipped his way into the highlight film for the Tide’s 42-10 win over Missouri on Saturday.

He got hit by the Missouri punter Trey Barrow, which launched him into a sommersault. He must’ve gained an additional 4 yards with the flip. Here is the video:

Tide in the NFL: Barron gets interception, Richardson hurt

Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson (33) finished with 37 rushing yards and hurt his ribs. (AP photo by Tony Dejak)

Detroit receiver Nate Burleson is tackled by Philadelphia linebacker DeMeco Ryans (59), who finished with 13 stops. (AP photo by Andre L. Smith of The Wilmington News-Journal)

Tampa Bay rookie safety Mark Barron pulled off his first career interception Sunday in a 38-10 win over Kansas City.

The Chiefs had driven to the Bucs’ 16 in the first quarter, but Barron intercepted a Brady Quinn pass and returned it 12 yards. In addition, he made a team-high eight tackles, including two behind the line.

Barron’s former Alabama teammate, Trent Richardson, was hurt in Cleveland’s 34-24 win over Cincinnati. The rookie running back took a helmet to the side early in the game.

He rushed for 37 yards on 14 carries for the Browns and caught a pair of passes for 17 more yards, but spent much of the second half on the bench. The Plain Dealer of Cleveland is reporting Richardson will have an MRI exam on his ribs Monday.

“I took a shot, but I’ll be back,” Richardson told reporters, according to The Associated Press. “I’ll be ready for next week.”

Other performances by former Alabama players:

–Cincinnati defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry sacked Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden for a 9-yard loss.

–Kansas City cornerback Javier Arenas returned two punts for 11 yards and made a tackle.

–Atlanta beat Oakland 23-20 as Falcons receiver Julio Jones had four catches for 65 yards. For the Raiders, middle linebacker Rolando McClain made three tackles, including one behind the line.

–Defensive lineman Marcell Dareus had three tackles as the Buffalo Bills beat Arizona 19-16 in overtime. For the Cardinals, defensive back Rashad Johnson had a tackle.

–Baltimore Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw set a season-high with six tackles in a 31-29 win over Dallas. Nose tackle Terrence Cody added three tackles.

–Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans made 13 tackles in Philadelphia’s 26-23 loss to Detroit. Three of his stops were for lost yardage.

–Houston cornerback Kareem Jackson had two tackles, but his Texans fell 42-24 to Green Bay.

–The New Orleans Saints (Mark Ingram and Roman Harper) had a bye this week, and the San Diego Chargers (Le’Ron McClain and Jarret Johnson) will play Monday night against Denver.

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Poll update: Alabama tops BCS standings

Alabama running back Eddie Lacy rushed for 177 yards Saturday. (AP photo by Jeff Roberson)

Alabama leads the initial BCS standings of the year.

Florida is second, followed by Oregon in third place, Kansas State fourth and Notre Dame fifth.

The Crimson Tide dominated the two “human” polls used by the BCS. Alabama received every first-place vote in the USA Today coaches poll and 110 of 115 No. 1 votes in the Harris rankings.

That helped Alabama overcome a deficit in the six computer rankings used by the BCS, which count one-third of the formula. The computers have Florida first, Notre Dame second and Alabama third. Only two of the six computer systems have the Tide ranked No. 1.

The coaches also have Oregon second, but Kansas State is third, Florida fourth and Notre Dame fifth. Harris has Oregon second, Florida third, Kansas State fourth and Notre Dame fifth. The Ducks received the remaining five Harris first-place votes.

In the Associated Press poll, Alabama is first and received every vote for the top spot. Oregon is second, followed by Florida in third, Kansas State fourth and Notre Dame fifth. This marks the third straight week Alabama received all the first-place votes in The Associated Press poll. The AP rankings do not count toward the BCS rankings, but AP has awarded a national championship since 1936 and still is considered a major poll.

This marks Alabama’s seventh straight week at No. 1. That ties for the longest stretch in Tide history. Alabama was No. 1 for seven weeks in a row in 1979, 1980 and 2009-10 (last two of 2009 and first five of 2010).

This also is the fifth time Alabama is a unanimous No. 1 in the AP poll.

Click here for the complete AP, Harris and USA Today coaches polls and BCS standings. That link takes you to the poll page on this blog.

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Saban says McCarron is fine

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron bruised his knee in Saturday’s win over Missouri. (AP photo by Jeff Roberson)

Alabama’s AJ McCarron is fine, and Tide coach Nick Saban said Sunday night on an ESPN broadcast his starting quarterback just bruised his knee in this weekend’s win over Missouri.

McCarron went down in the third quarter of a 42-10 victory over the Tigers, and although he didn’t miss a play because of the injury, he was walking gingerly after the game. Saban said McCarron underwent an examination Sunday.

“He’ll be fine in a day or two,” Saban said.

Saban added that he was told McCarron “pinched the fat pad” in his knee, which caused him pain Saturday.

According to orthopaedicsports.com, that’s called fat pad impingement?

“Sometimes after a forceful direct impact to the kneecap, the fat pad can become impinged (pinched) between the distal thigh bone (femoral condyle) and the kneecap (patella),” according to the website. “As the fat pad is one of the most sensitive structures in the knee, this condition is known to be extremely painful.”

This helps explain why McCarron appeared to be in so much pain while leaving the locker room Saturday night.

Saban made his comments while appearing on ESPN’s “BCS Countdown” show, which revealed Alabama (6-0) as No. 1 in the season’s initial BCS standings. Florida (6-0) is second, Oregon (6-0) third, Kansas State (6-0) fourth and Notre Dame (6-0) fifth.

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SEC announces Tide-Vols kickoff time

Alabama and Tennessee will kick off at 6 p.m. Saturday in Knoxville, and ESPN will carry the game nationally.

The Southeastern Conference made the announcement today.

Auburn will play at Vanderbilt at 11:21 a.m. on the SEC Network. CBS will have South Carolina at Florida at 2:30 p.m., while LSU is at Texas A&M on ESPN at 11 a.m.

Mississippi State will host Middle Tennessee at 6 p.m. on ESPN2, and Georgia at Kentucky at 6 p.m. on FSN.

Alabama-Missouri game highlights (video)

This is the highlight video provided by the Southeastern Conference. It’s about a minute long, and as you can see, it’s a bit lacking.

It’s the best we can provide at the moment, but as soon as we get a better highlight package, we’ll replace it as soon as possible.

I’m posting this now because it does include the Eddie Lacy run for the opening touchdown, and that might’ve been the most fun play of the day.

Flashback: Terry Davis’ run against Tennessee in 1972

The Daily Bama Blog software tells us several folks have reached us using the search term “Terry Davis.”

If you’re looking for the former Alabama quarterback of that name, you’ve reached the right place. In fact, we’re ready to give you video of one of the most memorable plays of his career.

Alabama won at Tennessee 17-10 in 1972, scoring two touchdowns in the final 2:39. Davis scored the winning points on a 21-yard run, and that’s what’s pictured in the video.

The Tide trailed 10-3 when it got the ball at the UT 48 with 2:39 to play. Davis hit Wayne Wheeler for a 20-yard gain, and then Steve Bisceglia rushed 26 yards to the 2. Wilbur Jackson took it over the goal line from there. A Bill Davis extra point made it 10-10.

On the first play after the kickoff, Alabama defensive end Mike DuBose forced Vols quarterback Condredge Holloway to fumble, and Tide teammate John Mitchell recovered at the 21. Davis then ran for his big touchdown.

LaMichael Fanning’s tackle on Missouri runner looks familiar

Update: Here’s the link to today’s story: click here. This includes Saban’s comments on Fanning’s hit.

Toward the end of Alabama’s 42-10 win over Missouri, the Tide’s LaMichael Fanning brought down the Tigers’ Russell Hansbrough by picking him up and slamming him into the turf, and the play created a little controversy.

Fanning was flagged for a personal foul penalty. The Southeastern Conference is trying to be extra careful about aggressive tackling this year, so plays such as Fanning’s get a little closer attention than similar tackles in the past.

When looking at the video of Fanning’s tackle, doesn’t it look similar to the one Auburn’s T’Sharvan Bell put on Alabama’s Greg McElroy two years ago?

We’ve got videos of both plays. Coincidentally, CBS televised both games, and you can hear the broadcast crew of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson analyze both plays. Again, keep in mind that the SEC is watching these kinds of hits much more closely now than it did in 2010, because they have extremely different reactions to the two similar plays.

Fanning’s hit:

Bell’s hit:

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What others said about Alabama vs. Missouri

Alabama defenders pull down Missouri’s Jimmie Hunt in the first half Saturday. (AP photo by L.G. Patterson)

A look at how newspapers outside Alabama covered the Crimson Tide’s 42-10 win over Missouri on Saturday.

Columbia Daily Tribune
Missouri’s offense figured to struggle against No. 1 Alabama’s collection of All-Americans on defense.

If the Tigers had any chance to hang with the Crimson Tide on Faurot Field, they’d need a dominant day from its defense.

That didn’t happen.

Alabama gashed the Tigers for 362 rushing yards, survived a weather delay and a burst of Missouri momentum to keep the SEC rookies winless in conference play.

Alabama 42, Missouri 10

At times, it didn’t seem so close.

Columbia Daily Missourian
COLUMBIA — The game was over in 45 seconds.

On Alabama’s second play from scrimmage Saturday at Memorial Stadium, running back Eddie Lacy took the handoff from quarterback A.J. McCarron and found a hole on the right side. He burst into the open field before cutting back left, dodging the feeble tackle attempts of Missouri defenders E.J. Gaines and Kenronte Walker.

Lacy scored, the rain poured and for all intents and purposes, the game was over. Alabama scored 28 straight points to begin the game, eventually sailing to a 42-10 win over Missouri.

“Well, it’s a play. I don’t think you pitch a tent and go home,” said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, referring to Lacy’s touchdown run. “It’s like anything else. They made plays. They did a good job. They out-executed us. But obviously, for Alabama that was a great play.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
COLUMBIA, Mo. — After Alabama hammered Mizzou 42-10 on Saturday at Faurot Field, MU coach Gary Pinkel lavished praise on the Crimson Tide.

“That is maybe the best football team I’ve ever seen. Time will tell,” he said, adding, “I don’t see a weakness.”

As for his own team, Pinkel offered what are becoming numbingly familiar assessments: of being disappointed in how it played, that it made too many mistakes, that lessons were learned (without specifics) and that he has to coach better.

But other than a quick reference to the depleted and young offensive line up against Bama’s frothing defense, he didn’t dwell much on another theme of the season: injuries such as the ones that have made the O-line an ongoing game of musical chairs and sidelined starting quarterback James Franklin against the Tide.

“After this, I will not talk about injuries the rest of the year, OK?” he said, adding, “We’re going to move on and try to finish the season the right way.”

Kansas City Star
COLUMBIA — The big man hopped briskly through the cold night air, grinning widely while red-and-white clad Alabama fans clapped and shouted from above.

“Six more games!” yelled D.J. Fluker, Alabama’s massive 6-foot-6, 335-pound right tackle, as he strode toward the Crimson Tide’s locker room at Memorial Stadium.

With its convincing 42-10 win over Missouri on Saturday, No. 1 Alabama improved to 6-0, only six winsfrom a perfect regular season. For three-plus hours, Fluker and his teammates had met their coach’s direct challenge, clearly illustrating the gulf that exists between college football’s elite programs and everyone else.

“We had a pretty straightforward message to our team: How important is the season to you?” said Alabama coach Nick Saban, whose team improved to 3-0 in SEC play. “It’s not the potential you have, it’s what you do … with your effort, your toughness … we have been a very good team and this game was, in some ways, the epitome of that.”

The Associated Press
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Nick Saban came off the field Saturday and sized up the afternoon for No. 1 Alabama.

“It was tough sledding out there today, guys,” the Crimson Tide coach said. The thing is, he was speaking more about the weather than the opponent.

“For the conditions, I was pleased with the balance that we had,” he said.

Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon gave Alabama a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time this season and the duo combined for five scores as Alabama beat Missouri 42-10 in a soggy, lightning-delayed game. The Crimson Tide had a season high 533 total yards and held Missouri to 129 yards — and just 3 yards rushing.

“Basically the offensive line came out and they dominated,” Lacy said. “I mean, every time we made a big run it was because they made a big hole for us.”

Center Barrett Jones put it like this: “Probably the best we played all year, given we had a break.”

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Alabama vs. Missouri, 1978

We’ve been looking for this, and it’s nice to see it’s available. Before Saturday, Alabama had visited Missouri only one other time, winning 38-20 in 1978.

Here’s a video of highlights, taken from an old syndicated show done by former broadcaster Bill Fleming.

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Opinion: AJ McCarron shows he has toughness, too

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron is helped off the field during the second half. (AP photo by L.G. Patterson)

This is my column for today’s print editions:

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Sprained knees hurt, and it took only one glance at AJ McCarron’s face to see that.

It was about 30 or 40 minutes after Alabama beat Missouri 42-10, and McCarron was making his way out of the locker room. He wore a protective boot on his right foot as he walked gingerly down a slanted pathway.

Well, actually, gingerly doesn’t really describe it all that well. Holding tightly onto the rail, like a child who has put on rollerskates for the first time, he would step quickly with his good leg and then almost slide his right foot along the ground.

He kept doing that until he reached the end of the pathway. Then came the hard part — he had to let go of the rail and take three steps over to a crate, grimacing hard the whole time. He latched onto the crate, appearing to let out a bit of a sigh of relief.

But here’s the thing this small moment revealed: If he felt that bad and didn’t miss a play after getting hurt Saturday, then his pain tolerance and desire must be pretty high. Navigating that walkway, he didn’t look like somebody who could get to the restroom by himself, much less quarterback a national championship contender.

This a good thing for Alabama, because when he hit the turf early in the third quarter and didn’t get up right away, the Tide’s season was on the line.

You know that already, because Saban emphasized that in the preseason. When discussing predictions about his team, he always answered, “What if AJ gets hurt in the sixth game of the year?”

(Hey, wait a minute — this was the sixth game of the year, by coincidence.)

McCarron’s teammates knew all of this already, too. McCarron knows this.

That likely is why he was so hot to get back on the field after he got hurt. The injury happened on a third-down sack with a little less than 10 minutes to play. He was helped off the field by a pair of trainers and led to a table. A doctor examined McCarron’s knee, which included flexing it back and forth several times in a row.

Then McCarron was pronounced fit to play. By then, Missouri had thrown three incomplete passes and and was about to punt the ball back to Alabama.

McCarron then jogged along the sideline to rejoin the Tide offensive players huddled around Saban. Alabama fans in the stadium cheered. When McCarron played, he didn’t look all that different from before. He never was a big runner to begin with, but he managed to scramble for 4 yards when he got chased out of the pocket.

He attempted five passes after he got hurt and completed all of them.

No doubt, his teammates appreciated all of this. After all, McCarron has conducted himself like the leader of this team. Since last season ended, he has demanded his teammates follow his path, and they’ve done it.

In a moment like this, he couldn’t sit over on the sideline and say he was done, especially when the doctor was saying he could play. And if he did return to the field, he couldn’t play poorly and then expect credit just for toughing it out.

McCarron’s head coach, Saban, said he wants his players to worry less about results than the process that gets them there. But McCarron plays a little as if he is listening to a former Alabama head coach, Gene Stallings, who always said you shouldn’t confuse activity with accomplishment and that results are what matters.

Results matter to McCarron, and a painful sprained knee isn’t going to change his mind about that. He showed that Saturday.

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Alabama vs. Missouri photo gallery

Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon dives into the end zone at the end of a 15-yard touchdown run. (AP photo by L.G. Patterson)

Alabama 42, Missouri 10

Click here for a gallery of 60 pictures from The Associated Press. Also, click here for a gallery of some excellent photos by the Columbia Daily Missourian.

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