Good morning. The Rammer Jammer is a daily rundown of everything you need to know about Alabama athletics, published every weekday morning.
It’s one down and two to go in the most crucial stretch of Alabama’s season. The Crimson Tide’s performance was something of a strange one. The Crimson Tide offense averaged 10.1 yards per play, a staggering total, but turned the ball over three times. On defense, Alabama forced five turnovers but conceded 400 passing yards, despite Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen spending the entire game scrambling for his life. That performance had former defensive back Nick Saban furious, and he wasn’t the only one:
400 yards passing….I got to play better man
— Fruit PUNCH (@marlon_humphrey) October 9, 2016
I’ll leave the full breakdown of Tennessee for Tuesday, but two things are clear from the weekend: 1) Alabama’s secondary is enough of a weak link to be exploitable and 2) turnovers will almost certainly decide this next game.
Play of the week
This week’s “honor” goes to Minkah Fitzpatrick’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. In addition to being an incredible display of speed and vision, it also destroyed any chance Arkansas had of a comeback. The return, an Alabama record, essentially generated a 14-point swing, keeping an Arkansas touchdown off the board and giving Alabama a four-score lead with 10 minutes to play. Fitzpatrick finished with 3 interceptions, and earned a Walter Camp National Player of the Week award for his trouble.
What they’re saying nationally
- None of the major polls have been updated because of Hurricane Matthew, but every projection I’ve found has Alabama still No. 1, including SEC Country’s.
- Elsewhere, Bleacher Report, Fox Sports and The New York Post (I dunno) have Alabama No. 1.
- ESPN’s Football Power Index has Michigan over Alabama this week. Football Power Index is, notably, not a good rating.
- Ed Aschoff at ESPN saw a team displaying a championship pedigree on Saturday night.
- The Washington Post’s Chuck Culpepper wrote in praise of Alabama’s winning streak.
- Pro Football Focus noticed that Texas A&M missed more tackles against Tennessee than Alabama has all season. Oh.
Football is fun
— FunnyMaine (@FunnyMaine) October 9, 2016
Best part of this week’s installment might be our guy’s T-shirt.
Closer to home
- From Marq Burnett, Nick Saban sought out Arkansas center Frank Ragnow to deliver a touching message. Ragnow’s father died last week.
- Burnett also has grades for Alabama’s performance. It’s a solid 3.3 GPA. Here are the injury updates, too.
- Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News: ‘Saban’s not satisfied.’
- From AL.com’s Rainer Sabin, Jalen Hurts went from freshman phenom to supporting role on Saturday night.
- Also from Sabin, the Crimson Tide got off to a fast start for the first time this season. It needed to.
- And also from Sabin, Minkah Fitzpatrick saves the day. I swear AL.com has other writers.
- OK, last one from Sabin: four surprises from Alabama’s victory.
- From his colleague Michael Casagrande, an excellent portrait of a furious Marlon Humphrey in victory.
- BamaOnline’s Charlie Potter has a rundown of Alabama’s national rankings and a report on the Crimson Tide’s freshmen.
- The Montgomery Advertiser’s Duane Rankin said you take the field, he’ll take Alabama.
- The only team that can keep Alabama out of the playoff is … Alabama, wrote Bleacher Report’s Chris Walsh.
- Alabama opened as either an 8-point or 10-point favorite against Tennessee. In most books, that’s already up to 11.5.
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) October 9, 2016
“It’s not that orange that you can sit with. It’s that puke-inside-of-a-pumpkin orange. And I don’t like pumpkins.”