Good morning. The Rammer Jammer is a daily rundown of everything you need to know about Alabama athletics, published every weekday morning
We move on from Alabama’s rampage over an inept team with no ability to contend with Alabama on any side of the ball to Kentucky, an inept team with no ability to contend with Alabama on any side of the ball. Despite improving to 2-2 with a 17-10 win over an also-not-good South Carolina (come at me, SEC East) on Saturday, the Wildcats’ defense has been spectacularly bad, conceding an average of 35 points per game, good for an illustrious 109th in the nation. On the other side of the ball, Kentucky is admittedly only average instead of terrible, scoring 30.3 points per game, the 67th most in the country.
On offense, Kentucky runs the ball efficiently and passes the ball explosively, relatively speaking, but hasn’t played a team with anywhere near the caliber of defense it’ll see on Saturday.
Kentucky’s best attribute is its bend-don’t-break defense. The Wildcats don’t allow many explosive plays, but Alabama’s offense is well-rounded enough to overcome that. Its pass defense is mediocre at best, and it does allow teams to run the ball efficiently, which you may recognize as a traditional strength of the Alabama program.
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) October 24, 2015
Of course, Lane Kiffin’s and Alabama’s ability to run the ball is at least partially dependent on the health of premier running back Damien Harris, who coach Nick Saban said is listed as day-to-day. Harris notably spurned Kentucky to sign with Alabama, inspiring Big Blue Nation to direct the kind of abuse usually reserved for 5-star power forwards who choose to start for literally anyone instead of backing up an obvious first-round draft choice. Since then, coach Mark Stoops has met with Harris, but Harris clearly hasn’t forgotten.
I just came across a statistic some of you will wish you hadn't heard. UK has scored 96 points all-time on the road vs Alabama. In 21 games.
— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) September 26, 2016
- Bleacher Report’s Damon Sayles has updates from LSU recruits, including Alabama target Dylan Moses.
- Like many of us, Saban is disappointed in the Miles firing.
- Stoops turned down a recruiting offer from Saban once. Whoops.
- Jalen Hurts leads Barrett Sallee’s list of college football’s top freshman. Jonah Williams makes the cut, too.
- Today in myopia, USA Today columnist Josh Peter says Kiffin should be the beginning and end of LSU’s shortlist.
- Alabama leads the conference in scoring offense, and other fun stats from BamaOnline’s Charlie Potter.
- DB Tony Brown is back from suspension, which makes his teammates happy.
- Tony Tsoukalas of the Montgomery Advertiser has a beautiful story about Dalvin Tomlinson and his late mother.
- CBS exercised its option to delay a decision on kickoff times for Alabama’s game at Arkansas and Tennessee at Texas A&M.
10/8 TV Schedule: pic.twitter.com/sZM4Cwq4wz
— Chuck Dunlap (@SEC_Chuck) September 26, 2016
Players of the week
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) September 26, 2016
Freshman Jonah Williams has made player of the week three times in four weeks. No Alabama players made the conference list this week, because of Kent State.
Football is fun
Our guy FunnyMaine is back with “How Bama fans watched Week 4”
— FunnyMaine (@FunnyMaine) September 25, 2016
Saban in full
Brought to you by AL.com, Saban covers injuries, Tony Brown, Stoops, Kentucky, Les Miles and more.
Around the Capstone
It’s homecoming week at Alabama, with all the trappings therein. Alabama athletics has a full week, including the Alabama swimming and diving team’s Power of Pink meet. Volleyball is on the road all week, but that hasn’t stopped star Krystal Rivers from running for homecoming queen, sponsored by the student-athletes’ council.
— UA_SAAC (@UA_SAAC) September 26, 2016
The Atlanta Falcons cruel and unnecessary romp over my New Orleans Saints featured a trio of former Alabama standouts. Roman Harper finished with 3 tackles, Julio Jones powered through an injury to finish with a titanic single catch for 16 yards, but it was Mark Ingram who stood out, carrying the ball 15 times for 77 yards and catching 4 passes for 30 more. He finished with a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
The Saints are coming
Alabama now has an off-field connection to the most iconic game in the history of the New Orleans Saints, and one of the greatest and most meaningful sporting events of my lifetime.
On Sept. 25, 2006, the Saints returned home to the Super Dome for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. Not long before, the Dome in the center of the city had its ceiling torn half off while refugees clamored for resources below. The future of the city, much less the NFL franchise, was in doubt.
I still remember driving through New Orleans a year after the storm and marveling at the devastation. I had seen hurricanes before, but never anything like that. I still haven’t. I remember the workers laboring day and night high on the roof of the SuperDome to get the stadium ready. I remember the pregame festivities, and most of all, I remember the punt block — one single play that defied tragedy and affirmed the life that had never really left one of America’s cultural capitals.
The whole week, before, during and after the game, Saints players and coaches knew they were competing for the people of New Orleans. After the game, the game ball was dedicated to the city and those people. Accepting on their behalf: then NBA, current Alabama basketball coach Avery Johnson, a New Orleans legend.
“I was there on the field for that first game (in the 2006 season) against the Falcons, and the electricity … I have never heard anything like that at any event in any arena,” Johnson later said.