Week 5 Alabama mailbag: Derrick Henry’s workload, SEC Championship chances and more
Welcome to the first edition of SEC Country’s Alabama mailbag. We asked you to submit your questions on Facebook, and you came through.
Today’s topics range from Derrick Henry’s workload to the Tide’s chances of beating Georgia (and LSU). Let’s begin:
Jarret Barrett: Why do so many high recruits that go to Alabama never live up to the hype?
To put it simply: Every school has prospects that don’t live up to the hype. It’s the nature of the process. You could ask the same question of every other power-conference program.
Let’s turn this question on its head, though: Why do so many highly-rated recruits succeed in Tuscaloosa?
The Tide have pumped out more NFL picks (24) in the past three drafts than any other team in the country. All signs point to Nick Saban, whose “Process” is not necessarily NFL-friendly, but tends to produce some of the most talented prospects in the nation.
Ryan Barrett: If Alabama beats Georgia… Do y’all think they beat LSU? And if so, who will be in the SEC Championship?!
If Alabama defeats Georgia on Saturday (see bottom of post), they’ll be in a great position going into the LSU game on Nov. 7 with one or two losses.
And if that’s the case, you can count on the Tide being favored against the Tigers — even if LSU is still undefeated at that point. Alabama matches up better with LSU’s ground-and-pound game than it did against Ole Miss’ freewheeling spread attack.
Another “if”: If ‘Bama can get past Georgia and LSU, odds are the Tide will represent the West division in the SEC Championship. Ole Miss is not infallible — it almost lost to Vanderbilt at home last weekend — and will likely trip up once or twice down the stretch. The West is tough to escape unscathed.
Cindy Royster: Why can’t all true Alabama fans support all the players and all the coaches?
Wow. Getting into existential territory here. I can’t explain this one any better than Nick Saban did this week. (Sounds like you’re in the “80 percent,” friend).
Chad Carlisle: Why doesn’t Henry get 20+ carries every game? Have they ever thought of putting Henry in the wildcat?
As far as Henry’s carries go: He would be getting at least 20 a game if not for Kenyan Drake, who’s rushed 37 times in four games.
I know what you’re really asking, though: Why is Alabama trying to pass so much? Well, that’s what their schedule has dictated thus far. Cupcake games against MTSU and ULM have featured pass-heavy gameplans designed to further the development of quarterback Jake Coker and a young receiving corps. Against Ole Miss, the Tide threw approximately 739 times, but they were trailing for much of the game.
Look back to Week 1 against Wisconsin, though; Alabama ran 37 times for 238 yards, while passing 29 times for 264 yards. That’s the kind of balance you should expect against UGA.
As far as the Wildcat formation (in which the running back lines up as quarterback in the shotgun) I can guarantee that the coaching staff has thought of it: Alabama ran two such plays with T.J. Yeldon against Florida last September.
Rico Adkins: Predict a winner in the Alabama-Georgia game!
That’s not really a question, but fine… Alabama 27, Georgia 21. Everyone will be waiting for ‘Bama quarterback Jake Coker to fold under pressure, but it will be Georgia signal-caller Greyson Lambert who crumbles late in his first big test of the year.
Who is going to win on Saturday? Retweet for Georgia Favorite for Bama pic.twitter.com/TjPvqxiRJS
— SEC Country (@seccountry) October 1, 2015