RTI Film Study: Alabama’s Dominance

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    Stopping Jalen Hurts

    Hurts may be the best athlete at quarterback Nick Saban has had in his time at Alabama.

    He is a creator, opening running lanes for his trio of running backs while still excelling in the passing game.

    He’s like a running back with a SEC arm.

    Since Hurts can scramble so well, you have to spy a linebacker on him just past the line. So it’s hard to bring pressure and take him down without pressure from the defensive line.

    If Tennessee brings extra pressure from Colton Jumper or Daniel Bituli, he’s going to do this all day. Yes he’s a great runner, but Hurts also has an elite arm.

    Alabama can run the ball up the middle in ten different ways. Here’s two of them here, which both go for first downs.

    To begin with, the Tide can get four yards whenever they want it up the middle in the I-formation. But in the spread, things get a little more complex.

    Alabama runs a lot of different looks out of the swing pass. Hurts can either pass it out to the perimeter, or run that draw play up the middle. In this case, the linebacker bites on the fake, leaving the middle of the field wide open. And when you give Hurts that much room, he’ll make you pay.

    Oh, and Damien Harris. Have I not mentioned him yet?

    Yeah, he’s pretty good too.

    With so many looks offensively, there’s so much to prepare for in order to beat Alabama. Your only chance to beat the Crimson Tide, is if they beat themselves. That’s been the recipe for success whenever Bama gets beat.

    But I don’t see that happening on the Third Saturday in October. Tennessee won’t be able to get pressure on Jalen Hurts, and even if its secondary covers the Tide’s elite receivers, Hurts can run for a big game.

    It should be a long day for UT on both sides of the ball against the nation’s top team.

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