Tide Takes: Is This Formula Sustainable for Alabama?

(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 is coming off its most impressive performance of the season to date with another huge road test coming up this week in College Station:

Coming off the heels of the Ole Miss game, Alabama had began to establish a defined identity for the first time all season as to what kind of team this was going to be. The Tide further leaned into it on Saturday night in Starkville with only 12 passing attempts from Jalen Milroe, a defensive touchdown, and more rushing yards than passing yards as a team.

While it is probably time to accept the fact that this is the best case scenario for an offense that does not have the personnel to be a great threat to teams with a prolific passing game, it’s worth asking the question whether or not the formula is sustainable.

When you are able to go up 14-0 in the first quarter, it absolutely is. This Alabama team is built to control the clock from the beginning, run the ball effectively, and play good defense. We have said it before and we will hammer it the rest of the season. But Mississippi State is far from the best team Alabama will face this year.

Will Alabama be able to respond if they are punched in the mouth early? We saw firsthand what an uphill battle the Texas game was. The possibility very much exists that Texas is the best team Alabama will face all season, but let’s take a look at LSU for example.

While the Tigers lost 55-49 in Oxford this weekend and have big problems on defense, they still nearly 50-pieced a defense on the road that Alabama put up only 24 on the week prior. In order to win games this season, Alabama must avoid the shootout games.

The offense just isn’t built that way.

Good starts are going to be essential for the Crimson Tide the rest of the way as they navigate their way through the SEC West.

Up this week for the Tide is a road game at Texas A&M in what will probably be the most difficult environment they face until the Iron Bowl. The Aggies have shown an ability to score points, and the Crimson Tide must give A&M quarterback Max Johnson trouble early and often.

Leaning on defense and a strong running game is unquestionably the strategy moving forward. There isn’t another choice. We will soon find out just how sustainable that strategy is.