Watching Alabama football try to pass against Texas A&M was very interesting.
There wasn’t a lot of consistency about it. Sometimes it worked. Often this was not the case. Crimson Tide fans had reason to celebrate each completed pass more than normal as none were given away.
In total, backup quarterback Jalen Milroe passed for 111 yards, with 12 completions on 19 attempts. He has dropped back a total of 29 times, according to Pro Football Focus rankings. Milroe, however, threw for three touchdowns. So he made a few games.
“Could we play better in every position, whether it’s quarterback, wide receiver or whatever? Absolutely,” coach Nick Saban said Monday. “So that’s what we’re trying to focus on in order to have more consistency in running and passing the ball.”
The ground game was much more productive. The Crimson Tide rushed for 288 yards on 51 attempts. Jahmyr Gibbs had another big game, rushing for 154 yards. Milroe also had a solid day on the ground, including a 33-yard run. Gibbs continues to lead the nation with 8.31 yards per carry.
Alabama ranks No. 3 among FBS teams with 257.2 rushing yards per game. Meanwhile, passing offense ranks No. 1. 68.
Despite all this, for Alabama to beat Tennessee, it would be a good idea to attack the Vols from the air with Bryce Young or Jalen Milroe.
JALEN MILROE:Unpacking Jalen Milroe’s impact for Alabama football: What it means against Tennessee
ALABAMA FOOTBALL:Alabama football mailbag: Making sense of all those turnovers before the Tennessee game
The no. 1 Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0 SEC) takes on No. 8 Vols (5-0, 2-0) Saturday (2:30 p.m. CT, CBS) at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.
A balanced offense is always the goal, but Alabama has an opportunity in the air they probably won’t get on the ground against Tennessee.
The Vols defense is solid against the run. Tennessee allows just 2.79 yards per carry, which ranks it No. 1. 7 nationally. He also allows just 89.2 rushing yards per game, ranked 11the.
“They are physical up front,” Saban said. “They play hard. They are aggressive in their style of bringing people on, creating negative plays. They tackle well. They play hard. They play well together. They have a good understanding of what they are trying to do every time. call. They’re a good front seven.”
The secondary, on the other hand, is suspect. The Vols are the opposite of the national ranking in pass defense. Tennessee allows 307.4 yards per game through the air, which ranks 128e out of 131 FBS teams.
Starting cornerback Warren Burrell is out for the season with an upper-body injury, Tennessee coach Josh Heupel announced a week ago. Starting safety Jaylen McCollough may also not play against Alabama. Heupel did not publicly make a decision Monday on McCollough’s status, after security was arrested on Sunday for aggravated assault.
With or without McCollough, Tennessee’s passing defense is vulnerable. There should be more openness for Alabama to pass than to run. The Crimson Tide just needs to make sure he takes advantage of it.
Whoever plays quarterback will need a running game to help support the offense, but passing will likely be the quickest way to get yards and points against the Vols.
The Crimson Tide should definitely try to run again. Maybe Alabama can win the battle of might versus war. strength. But it doesn’t take an elite offensive mind to see Tennessee’s defensive weak spot.