College football can lend itself to some copycatting. After seeing Arkansas’ success using its tight ends against Alabama last week, the Crimson Tide defense is readying for more of the same.
Arkansas tight end Cheyenne O’Grady had a game-high seven catches for 48 yards and two touchdowns last week. Two other tight ends chipped in as well to give the trio 10 total catches on Arkansas’ 26 completions. Those numbers included a handful of tight end screens.
“A couple of those plays last week, I think three of them, are where the guy blocked, blocked, blocked, and we kind of released them in coverage, whoever had them, and then a lineman gets in between you and the tight end and they throw them a little screen,” coach Nick Saban said. “We hadn’t seen that play prior to last week’s game. It didn’t kill us in the game, but it is certainly something we need to defend better in the future. It is a difficult play and you have to be disciplined in coverage.”
Two of Missouri’s top targets are its tight ends. Sophomore Albert Okwuebugnam leads the team with 27 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Kendall Blanton has 11 grabs for 96 yards and a touchdown. Alabama will be looking for them this weekend.
“Every team we play will look at any type of weakness we have in order to beat us,” linebacker Dylan Moses said.