A vintage Alabama defense this was not.
And that’s going to be the story this upcoming week for the Crimson Tide going into conference play.
Nick Saban was not in the least bit happy, either.
His perpetual scowl over his defense’s inability to keep the Colorado State Rams’ offense off the field this evening could spell a thorny doom for that side of the ball on Monday.
The absence of Rashaan Evans, Anfernee Jennings, Christian Miller and Terrell Hall, all at the linebacker position, is obviously taking a toll on a team that hardly ever allows teams to rush for 100 yards.
Colorado State rushed for 144 this evening. Let that sink in for a moment.
The last team to rush for more was the first championship game against Clemson in January of 2016.
They rushed for 145.
While capitalizing on two turnovers help put the score out of reach in the third quarter, Colorado State lived in Alabama territory all game long and you could tell it was because of depleted depth in the front seven.
This should be concerning for Tide fans going forward, because even with the return of Evans and Jennings in the near future, Alabama’s margin for injury is razor thin and the aforementioned injured LBs all have elite pass rushing ability that hasn’t been accounted for by their replacements over the last two weeks.
The other side of the ball, however, made up for any deficiencies on the defense by meticulously putting together several good touchdown drives.
All told, Jalen Hurts accounted for 351 of the offense’s 487 total yards and three touchdowns. If anyone thinks that the 2016 SEC Offensive Player of the Year can’t be a difference maker, watch him take off up the middle when his receivers are covered.
Until further notice, Hurts is this team’s MVP.
As he’s done throughout his short career, Hurts led ‘Bama’s offense on a touchdown drive immediately following a touchdown from the other team.
Jalen Hurts is a natural born leader and while his skills as a downfield passer are still in their infancy, he’s obviously made this team his and that could be what saves the defense in 2017.
The season’s young and many freshman are playing on the D, right now, but if the front seven continues to be dominated at the line like they were tonight, this 2017 team could look like an Alabama Vintage 2010 instead of a ‘09, ‘11, ‘12, ‘15 or ‘16.
We’ll see how Monday shapes up.