The on-field product from Alabama football the past two seasons has been a stark drop-off from the teams of years past that typically dominated lesser opponents in emphatic fashion. That has happened just once against a non-Vanderbilt Power Five opponent, prompting 247Sports’ Brad Crawford to call the current Crimson Tide roster the most undisciplined of the Nick Saban era.
Losing to Tennessee for the first time since the Motorola RAZR was the most owned cell phone was the tip of the iceberg, but the problems have been present before then. As Crawford illustrates in a piece detailing why Saban has lost his grip on the College Football Playoff race, this season has been tough to watch for Tide fans who have grown accustomed to spread-covering dominance — labeling his first bullet point: “This is Alabama’s most undisciplined team in Saban’s tenure.”
The 247Sports national college football writer provided some context before ripping into the current state of the Crimson Tide. “Alabama averages 9.4 penalties per game this season which is the most since Saban’s arrival and ranks No. 129 nationally when averaged out to penalty yards per game (79.9),” Crawford wrote. “No team in college football has drawn more flags than Alabama (66), including a school-record 17 during Saturday’s loss to the Vols. That’s an unacceptable number and nearly impossible for any team to overcome, even a program accustomed to showing up and winning almost every weekend.”
Former Alabama Receiver Rips Excuses Regarding the Referees
Marquise Maze, who won national championships under Nick Saban in 2009 and 2011, did not want to hear any excuses about the referees having a hand in Tennessee’s upset over Alabama during 2022’s Third Saturday in October rivalry game. On October 16, Maze went on a lengthy Twitter rant taking aim at Alabama’s secondary, linebacker play, and even Tennessee mascot Smokey.
“Some of the Bama fans can’t admit (Tennessee) wanted that game more than our players,” Maze tweeted. “Yes, the refs made some bad calls but we as a team made it where those call’s mattered! I don’t care about (any) moral victories…call a spade a spade.”
“False starts are not on the refs, holding is not on the refs… y’all acting like a (Tennessee receiver) didn’t have a career day on Bama yesterday,” Maze continued. “Dude had 4 touchdowns, quit putting the game in the refs hands…we gave up 52 f****** points, I don’t recall any Nick Saban Team giving up 50 plus points!”
“You can’t dominate a team giving up 52 f****** points,” Maze seemingly yelled through the keyboard. “(Alabama) needs to figure out how to cover some damn body… linebacker play was garbage yesterday, don’t tweet me about no refs…I can care less to read the BS!”
Maze took a shot at Demarcco Hellams to finish off his profanity-filled post-game rant. “Hitman, as he calls himself, was worthless…#2 can’t cover my grandma.”
Alabama’s Defense Has Big Challenge Ahead in Week 8
567 yards of total offense and over 8 yards per play from Tennessee against Crimson Tide fans on October 15 predictably drew the ire from Crimson Tide fans, alumni, and former players. Unfortunately, the schedule draws another high-powered offense in Week 8 when Mississippi State comes to town.
The 90 Mile Drive rivalry game has not been won by the Bulldogs since 2007, but Alabama is looking more vulnerable than it has since last season’s matchup on October 16, 2021 inside Davis Wade Stadium.
Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers has 2,313 passing yards in 2022, good for 4th in the nation, and 23 touchdowns, good for 3rd, and Nick Saban admitted Mike Leach was one of the most difficult guys to try to scheme against during his October 17 press conference. Things only get marginally easier this coming Saturday for Saban and co. with the Bulldogs coming to town after Tennessee destroyed Alabama’s defense.