Tide Takes: Alabama Must Improve Over Next Two Games
(Photo via Alabama Athletics/SEC Media Portal)
Every Monday right here you can read Tide Takes, where we’ll get into a different topic on the Crimson Tide, break down the previous game, preview the upcoming game, and everything in between. In this week’s edition, Alabama looked to build off their huge win against Texas A&M. With a great first half and disastrous second, things are murky as to where things stand with the Tide:
As they say, survive and advance. And boy oh boy, did Alabama have to survive against Arkansas on Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa. In a game that never should have been close against a team Nick Saban has never lost to in his time at Alabama, the Crimson Tide needed a stop at the end as well as a few first downs to seal up a 24-21 win.
So how did they get to that point? Alabama led 24-6 midway through the third quarter and looked to be in complete control of the game before things went off the rails. Sloppiness on defense led to an Arkansas touchdown drive to cut the lead to 24-13 followed by a complete stagnation on offense.
The dying of the offense was largely due to poor offensive line play and Jalen Milroe being under duress for much of the second half. Landon Jackson absolutely feasted on the Alabama line, sacking Milroe four times.
Alabama was able to hold on and defeat Arkansas with a defensive stop and a few first downs at the end to close it out. But moving forward, Alabama must avoid a half like they just played.
Tennessee comes to town this week in a game that Alabama should be able to rely on the defense once again, but will still need to score points.
But with a high-flying LSU offense arriving two weeks later, it is going to be a matchup in which Alabama will have to keep up. While the Tigers struggle on defense, completely shutting down Jayden Daniels is out of the question and the prospect of a shootout is a scary thing for this team.
The simple fact is that the Tide must improve and establish a level of consistency on the offensive line that allows Milroe time to beat both of the two secondaries he has in front of him in the next two games.
Alabama cannot afford another slip-up if it wants to stay in the College Football Playoff race.
And if they play another half like they just did, they will lose one of the next two. The Crimson Tide had better fix things, and fix them fast.