JessN: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’s fu
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    Article Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’s fu

    Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’s future
    by Jess Nicholas
    TideFans Editor-In-Chief
    January 8th, 2019 12:24 AM

    Whether you’re an optimist (“We still have Nick Saban!”) or a pessimist (“This was the beginning of the end!”) about Alabama football probably hinges on how many total points you thought swung about on two poor decisions and throws from QB Tua Tagovailoa, and Alabama’s response to it.

    Clemson got 14 points off those two turnovers, so the easy answer is that. Then you have to figure out how many points Alabama lost the opportunity to score by not having the ball. It’s a number somewhere between zero and 14, meaning the full damage was as much as 28 points.

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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Thanks for the write-up. That had to suck to write.

    You cut Dabo slack for his loss last year because he had Bryant at QB. Meanwhile Alabama's offense was just as hampered with Jalen at QB. Saban dominated Clemson last year just as effectively as Dabo dominated Alabama this year. In both cases I think that it came down to play in the trenches. Last year Alabama destroyed Clemson in the trenches, and this year the roles were reversed. That, IMO, is a coaching push, but you think that it pushes the edge to Dabo. We will have to agree to disagree on that point.

    The same things win that have always won in this game.

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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Quote Originally Posted by B1GTide View Post
    Thanks for the write-up. That had to suck to write.

    You cut Dabo slack for his loss last year because he had Bryant at QB. Meanwhile Alabama's offense was just as hampered with Jalen at QB. Saban dominated Clemson last year just as effectively as Dabo dominated Alabama this year. In both cases I think that it came down to play in the trenches. Last year Alabama destroyed Clemson in the trenches, and this year the roles were reversed. That, IMO, is a coaching push, but you think that it pushes the edge to Dabo. We will have to agree to disagree on that point.

    The same things win that have always won in this game.
    This is how I saw it too.

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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Excellent write-up. I too felt that Clemson probably spent more time in December getting ready for Bama than Notre Dame. Probably like 3 weeks on Bama and only 1 week for Notre Dame. Interesting comments wondering if Saban will be able to bounce back. Losing that badly was certainly a huge psychological shock for him and the team. Strangely it makes me think for a moment of Tiger Woods. What do Tiger Woods and Nick Saban have in common? Not much I guess, except that they both are considered among the greats if not the greatest in their profession. Back in 2009 Tiger Woods had his usual lead in a major golf tournament and I'm sure he felt he was cruising to another championship. Suddenly the unthinkable happened and he lost a major on a Sunday. It was a huge psychological shock for Woods and turned out to be what many in the golf world feel started the decline of Woods. Can Saban recover from a similar shock? Personally I think so, but we have to wait a year to find out.

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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Excellent commentary, Jess. Does it seem to you that our ILB's are a step too slow and never really seemed to completely mentally grasp their assignments this year? If so, what is to be done?
    Roll Tide Roll!!!

    The TideFan formerly known as NationalTitles16, NationalTitles15, NationalTitles14, NationalTitles13, and NationalTitles12.

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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    A little bit too gloomy in this write up for me. Need to improve the defense tremendously. Not real worried about the offense unless we don't learn from this game.

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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Quote Originally Posted by B1GTide View Post
    Thanks for the write-up. That had to suck to write.

    You cut Dabo slack for his loss last year because he had Bryant at QB. Meanwhile Alabama's offense was just as hampered with Jalen at QB. Saban dominated Clemson last year just as effectively as Dabo dominated Alabama this year. In both cases I think that it came down to play in the trenches. Last year Alabama destroyed Clemson in the trenches, and this year the roles were reversed. That, IMO, is a coaching push, but you think that it pushes the edge to Dabo. We will have to agree to disagree on that point.

    The same things win that have always won in this game.
    I don't think we were ever hampered as much with Jalen as Dabo was with Bryant. Hurts basically had two bad games coming into 2018, the 2017 Auburn game and the 2017 Georgia game. He was better against Clemson in 2017 than anyone wants to give him credit for being. For that matter, I probably didn't give Dabo enough credit last year in the post-New Orleans analysis for having to work around Bryant, but the reason for that blind spot is we hadn't seen what a QB like Lawrence was capable of doing in that offense. We saw immediately what the change from Bryant to Lawrence did for that team this year.

    In Hurts' case, if Tua didn't exist and Alabama had to have played its 2018 schedule with Hurts at QB, Bama still makes the CFP. May have still gone undefeated, at that, and maybe even beaten Oklahoma -- and just as badly. Why? The change in schemes, the OC change, the presence of Enos as a dedicated QB coach and a change in systems to focus on his talents. Alabama wouldn't have won games by as much, because that's just not who Hurts is, but aside from the Texas A&M game I don't see a single game on the schedule that gets dangerously close to a loss. I'll remind folks that the primary reason Locksley was hired wasn't his recruiting, but rather to teach spread concepts to the rest of the offensive staff, in preparation for the signing of more athletic quarterbacks.

    You are correct Alabama dominated Clemson in the trenches last year; the 2017 Clemson OL had some growing up to do, and they did. Having said that -- and I hate being a stats guy in losses like this -- Alabama outrushed Clemson tonight even though Clemson spent the entire fourth quarter killing clock, and total yardage between the two teams was close. Where Alabama functionally lost the game was (a) Miller being out and Moses not being able to do anything with the snaps he was given at OLB to affect Lawrence, (b) Bama's ILBs being a weak point all year (see my next response in this thread), and (c) if anything, Bama not leaning on its OL enough in the early going and committing to pushing Clemson's own, newfound depth issue at DL enough. When you add in whatever was going through Tua's head (or Locksley's, too) after the second interception, it's a complete loss.
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Quote Originally Posted by NationalTitles17 View Post
    Excellent commentary, Jess. Does it seem to you that our ILB's are a step too slow and never really seemed to completely mentally grasp their assignments this year? If so, what is to be done?
    I wasn't particularly enthused with the LB coaching this year, especially the ILB coaching. On top of that, Saban's defense has always struggled when the ILBs couldn't cover the short and intermediate middle of the field, and/or play in space. That has been the big weakness for this group all year.

    Whether that's talent or coaching or both, it's hard to say.
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Two things were on display tonight - and they both resulted in UA looking totally gassed defensively.

    The first is player conditioning. Coaches say it’s harder for the bigs to get back into game shape after the month layoff. Last week, our front 7 got after it against OU... same last year in the first round vs. Clemson. Our guys were taxed greatly last week and the turnaround didn’t allow them time to recover. If Clemson plays OU last week, they look differently tonight on defense IMO.

    The second is the meat grinder of our SEC schedule. We played twice as many hard games as Clemson this season - and it took a toll on us. Again, look at last season as an indicator. We had an easier schedule than this year - and we were fresh against CU and did well defensively against UGA (who played an extra game and had to play OU). IMO, It’s better to go into the CFP having been tested in 2-3 games than to have played 5-6 heavyweights - and if you can skip the conference title game, all the better.

    With these two factors, it comes down to the luck of the draw. How strong is your conference and who do you draw in the CFP?

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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Not Jess, of course, but yes. The most confounding inside linebacker play of the Saban era.


    Quote Originally Posted by NationalTitles17 View Post
    Excellent commentary, Jess. Does it seem to you that our ILB's are a step too slow and never really seemed to completely mentally grasp their assignments this year? If so, what is to be done?

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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    One team had several juniors come back specifically to beat the other. The other had several juniors leave to beat a path to the NFL.

    A lot of tonight was about on field leadership and experience

    Our defense just didn’t develop enough leadership to be ready to control the game.

    Mack and Moses aren’t Alpha Dogs. We’ve always had at least one going back to McLain.
    Doc Holliday: [to Johnny Ringo, after shooting him in a duel] You're no daisy! You're no daisy at all. Poor soul, you were just too high strung

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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Thanks, Jess. The truth hurts.
    "My momma always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on." Forrest Gump

    "The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    This game felt like the fight between the Hulk and Thanos in Avengers Infinity War. As soon as they showed they were going to fight back after we punched them, it was like we folded.

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