Don’t blink. Alabama’s offense might have already been swapped out with the defense. The Crimson Tide gets off the field that quickly when it has the ball.
This season, Alabama has scored on its first offensive drive of every game. The most it has taken is eight plays. Two touchdowns came out of the first snap.
“Trust me, as an offensive player, sometimes it’s even frustrating how fast we can score,” UA tight end Hale Hentges said. “It’s like, ‘OK, let’s get in a rhythm, let’s get in a groove.’ You throw a block and you’re like, ‘OK, that was one play.’ The second play, I’m getting my feet wet and all of a sudden we score and it’s like, ‘Well, off to the sideline again.’”
He’s not complaining. Neither are the defensive players, even though it means they have less time to rest.
“We don’t want them to stop scoring, we want them to light up the scoreboard,” Alabama defensive back Deionte Thompson said. “We just have to be ready. Like sudden change, they score fast it’s a sudden-change situation and we have to be prepared for it.”
There has been a variety of scoring plays, too.
Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy was the first in the end zone against both Louisville and Arkansas State, scoring on receptions from 11 and 58 yards out, respectively. But then running back Damien Harris had a 43-yard run against Ole Miss. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith caught a 30-yard pass against Texas A&M. Running back Josh Jacobs ran in a 9-yarder. Then, most recently, tight end Irv Smith Jr. shimmied his way down the sideline with a 76-yard reception-turned-touchdown.
“We’ve always had a good plan,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said Monday. “The coaches have done a really good job of developing those first plays in the game you want to run from a script standpoint. That has been able to take advantage of some situations that we see from defense.”
And Alabama sure does take advantage of those situations. The Crimson Tide is outscoring opponents 124-21 in the first quarter alone. Through two quarters, it’s 238-34, and Alabama is 123-7 under Saban when leading at the half.
Hentges said the offense normally goes into a game with 15-20 plays it wants to call right from the start. The Crimson Tide hasn’t had to deviate from that script just yet.
“But we’re going to play better and better defenses as we go,” Saban said, “so that will become more challenging.”
Alabama, which is averaging 56 points per game to lead the nation, is about to face a Missouri team that’s allowing an average of 28.8 points per game. The Crimson Tide has scored 336 points overall, 276 of which are from touchdowns. The Tigers have given up a total of 144 points this season, 96 from touchdowns.
“As an offense, our job is just to score,” Hentges said. “I know we sometimes probably don’t give the defense enough break as we should.”
Reach Terrin Waack at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.