The Alabama Crimson Tide offense became one of the most scrutinized units across college football in 2023.
Before the Saturday, September 23 Ole Miss game, the unit was getting criticized for their consecutive week struggles against Texas and the University of South Florida — the former contest leading to a quarterback change of Jalen Milroe and the latter witnessing only a 17-point output.
But now, former Alabama All-American Jordan Battle is one who believes the offense is starting to get rolling after the Tide’s convincing 24-10 victory over the Rebels. During the win against the No. 20 ranked team in the nation, the now Cincinnati Bengals rookie safety came to like what he saw on defense but also on offense.
“I’m loving how the Bama defense playing!!! Also loving how the offense is figuring things out!!! Roll Tide!!!” Battle posted on his X (formerly known as Twitter) account.
How Did the Tide Offense Click This Time?
Here’s an overview of what Alabama managed to improve on offense in comparison to last week versus the USF Bulls.
Third down conversions: Against USF, Alabama only converted on five third down scenarios — out of 15 attempts. This time ‘Bama got one more first down, out of 13 attempts. The Tide had a 33% efficiency on third downs. It improved to 46% versus the Rebels.
Total yards: Alabama settled for 310 against the Bulls. Ole Miss game saw 356.
Passing yards: By pivoting back to Milroe, Alabama improved to 225 yards in the air. Milroe also went 17-of-21 with his throws while facing his first Southeastern Conference defense. And, with Milroe back at the controls, Alabama improved to 6.8 yards per pass compared to 4.7 versus USF.
Time of possession: Lastly, Alabama controlled the clock. The Bulls held the ball longer last week. Alabama’s 34:23 was nearly 10 minutes higher than Ole Miss (25:37).
But individually, the Tide witnessed the re-emergence of Jase McClellan. The senior wore down Ole Miss by averaging 6.2 yards per carry and delivered his first 100-yard outing (105) since November 19, 2022 against Austin Peay.
Looking Ahead to Mississippi State
Alabama will now make its attempt to sweep the Dixie State in 2023, as they will take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs next.
Following a 2-0 start, the Bulldogs have declined and dropped their last two games against LSU (41-14) and South Carolina (37-30).
How has Mississippi State looked defensively? Especially after surrendering a combined 78 points the last two weeks? Statistically, the matchups already favor the Tide.
Alabama is soon facing a defense that has allowed an average of 400.3 yards per game so far this season. In addition, the Bulldogs are surrendering 280 yards per game against the pass. This could mean Milroe produces his best passing outing yet this season.
Furthermore, during the two-game slide, the Bulldogs have faced two early threats for All-SEC honors at quarterback and struggled with both. LSU’s Jayden Daniels threw for 361 yards and tossed two touchdowns in the Tigers’ rout of Mississippi State. Spencer Rattler threw three touchdowns on Saturday facing this Bulldog defense.
Mississippi State even had its moments against Jayden de Laura of Arizona. He went on o throw 342 yards and two touchdowns, but was picked off four times in the Bulldogs’ 31-24 overtime win to go 2-0. Run defense wise, the Bulldogs surrendered 151 yards on the ground against the Gamecocks. The previous week, LSU tallied 163 rushing yards and three scores against Mississippi State.
Early signs are indicating Milroe and the Alabama offense will continue its newfound roll, much to the liking of the 2022 second team All-American Battle and past Tide players everywhere.