Top-ranked Alabama braces again for Texas A&M's uptempo offense - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Top-ranked Alabama braces again for Texas A&M's uptempo offense

Posted: Updated:
Alabama head coach Nick Saban during a news conference in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Wednesday, September 11, 2013. (abc3340.com) Alabama head coach Nick Saban during a news conference in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Wednesday, September 11, 2013. (abc3340.com)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban knows it's become irrelevant whether frenetic, no-huddle offenses are what he wants college football to be.

In the case of No. 6 Texas A&M, they're also awfully hard to slow down.

That is the challenge Saturday for the top-ranked Crimson Tide at the Aggies' Kyle Field. Preparing for this kind of uptempo offense was a focal point for the Tide during the offseason.

Alabama (1-0, 0-0 SEC) was helpless against it in the first quarter of last season's loss to Texas A&M (2-0, 0-0) before catching on and nearly rallying from a 20-0 deficit. The no-huddle offenses have become a staple of the college game — whether Saban likes it or not.

Southeastern Conference opponents Mississippi, Kentucky and Auburn also run variations.

"There's obviously some things you can't do, and you have to realize that you can't do these things," Saban said. "I think we've all adapted to it more and more because we play against these teams more. When you play against it once or twice a year, I think it's a tough adaptation for the players. But we played against it eight or nine times last year. We'll probably play against it at least that much this year, so it's becoming more the norm rather than the exception.

"I think that players should be able to adapt to it more readily. I know that we've tried to prepare our players for it more and more because you always say, 'OK, what did we see? How much did we see it? How does our practice reflect that?'"

Saban caused a stir last October when he wondered aloud: "Is this what we want football to be?"

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and Auburn's Gus Malzahn, who runs his own variation of the no-huddle, offered very different takes at SEC media days about whether fast-paced offenses present an injury hazard to defensive players who can't get relief from subs. Malzahn said he initially thought that theory was a joke and Bielema countered that he's no comedian.

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin isn't about to downshift.

"We're going to go as fast as we possibly can," Sumlin said. "I haven't seen anything to support the player safety argument. Anything that's within in the rules, that's the way football is. That's any sport. Whether it's baseball and you're stealing bases or whether it's basketball and you're a fast break, full-court press team, that's within the rules.

"Just because you don't want to play that style doesn't mean that that's not the way the game should be played."

It's hard to argue with the results. Sumlin's offenses have ranked in the top three nationally in total yards four of the past five years at Texas A&M and Houston.

Through two games against weaker competition, the Aggies have amassed 117 points and 1,200 yards.

Alabama allowed just 153 points in 14 games last season.

Texas A&M wide receiver Malcome Kennedy said coaches have stressed tempo even more for this game.

"The offense is going to move very fast," said Kennedy, who scored what proved to be the decisive touchdown last season. "Coach has already said that we're focusing on tempo this week. Us being able to run and pass, and we know it got on their nerves last year. So we want to be like that this year and hopefully it will turn out well."

Texas A&M's success on third downs kept the offense sprinting along last season, and Alabama's defense on its heels. The Aggies had three first downs and two touchdowns on its five third-down plays in the first quarter of that 29-24 win. They converted on 11 of 18 tries.

Saban said the Aggies' offensive prowess isn't just about speed.

"To me, it's not the scheme," he said. "It's not the going fast, it's their ability to do those things and execute extremely well in terms of what they do. And their players have a lot of confidence in it and they do a really good job of it."

___

AP Sports Writer Kristie Rieken contributed in College Station, Texas, to this report.

___

Follow John Zenor on Twitter: Twitter.com/jzenor

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • House Republicans optimistic about new US-Mexico border bill

    House Republicans optimistic about new US-Mexico border bill

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:38 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:38:13 GMT
    House Republicans expressed optimism on Friday that a revised, $694 million bill addressing the surge of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border would win over reluctant conservatives and give a divided GOP a political win.More >>
    House Republicans expressed optimism on Friday that a revised, $694 million bill addressing the surge of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border would win over reluctant conservatives and give a divided GOP a political win.
    More >>
  • Fridays to Go, August 1 - 3

    Fridays to Go, August 1 - 3

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:55 AM EDT2014-08-01 11:55:25 GMT
    Some of the area events for August 1 thru 3More >>
    Some of the area events for August 1 thru 3
    More >>
  • Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:19:47 GMT
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • 2014 USA Today preseason coaches poll: FSU No. 1, Alabama No. 2, Auburn No. 5

    2014 USA Today preseason coaches poll: FSU No. 1, Alabama No. 2, Auburn No. 5

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:40 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:40:23 GMT
    The 2014 USA Today preseason college football coaches poll was released Thursday and reigning national champion Florida State sits atop the rankings.More >>
    The 2014 USA Today preseason college football coaches poll was released Thursday and reigning national champion Florida State sits atop the rankings.More >>
  • Auburn football announces two-game series with Clemson

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-07-30 20:38:41 GMT
    Auburn and Clemson have agreed to a two-game series beginning in 2016. Auburn will host Clemson on Sept. 3, 2016 and play at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Sept. 9, 2017.The programs have played 49 times in the past, including three times in the last five years. Auburn leads the all-time series 34-13-2 despite losing the last two times it's played Clemson, in 2011 and 2012.The agreement with Clemson will fulfill Auburn's obligation to play at least one non-conference opponent from a Power 5 co...More >>
    Auburn and Clemson have agreed to a two-game series beginning in 2016. Auburn will host Clemson on Sept. 3, 2016 and play at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Sept. 9, 2017.The programs have played 49 times in the past, including three times in the last five years. Auburn leads the all-time series 34-13-2 despite losing the last two times it's played Clemson, in 2011 and 2012.The agreement with Clemson will fulfill Auburn's obligation to play at least one non-conference opponent from a Power 5 co...More >>
  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.More >>
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...