University of Alabama Offensive Review

A Solid Win Record Belies Questions about the Alabama Offense’s Playoff Strength

Can the Bama Offense Put Together Another Champ Season?

  Defending SEC champion the University of Alabama returned nine of its eleven offensive starters for the 2010-2011 seasons, along with five other key players,giving Bama the chance to take those Alabama jerseys all the way to the BCS championship again this year.   So what are the relevant data from 2009’s offense, what holes will the Crimson Tide’s offense have to fill this year, what should we expect from the less experience offensive line? Easy points out of the way first: Returning QB Greg McElroy, Heisman trophy-winning running back Mark Ingram, only slightly less successful back Trent Richardson, and wide receivers Marquis Maze and Earl Alexander should have a big impact again this year.Injury problems are the early-season elephant in the room. Julio Jones’ broken hand during Bama’s October 9 loss to South Carolina has deprived the Tide of its number one receiver, who after five games was on pace for almost 900 receiving on the season. That same game also resulted in a groin injury for right tackle D.J. Fluker, who had to sit out against Ole Miss. Between graduating two of its offensive line starters and now having to replace Fluker with reserve Alfred McCullough, Bama’s OL remains a question mark for many considering Alabama’s championship hopes.  As the boys in Alabama jerseys seek to answer that question, fans wonder about weaknesses in the early-season running and passing games. While McCullough looked strong in his first start against Ole Miss, helping out protecting four carries over nine yards, the running game failed to produce any plays over 13 yards for the first time in the season. Coupled with problems that McElroy has had finding his receivers, this slow down in Bama’s ground game, which is the team’s offensive foundation, has everyone agreeing that despite high hopes at the startof the season, Coach Saban is right when he says “we don’t have any rhythm on offense yet.”