Sunday, October 20, 2013
What we learned: Week 8
By Alex Scarborough
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Here's a look at three things learned in No. 1 Alabama's 52-0 win against Arkansas on Saturday night.
Kenyan Drake can fly: OK, so maybe we had an idea of Drake's speed before Saturday, but the game against Arkansas further proved his worth as the No. 2 tailback behind T.J. Yeldon. The speedy sophomore showed lightning quick moves, rushing for 104 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries. No matter how you slice it, a 13.0 yards per carry average is stunning. Oh, and let's not forget that Derrick Henry, Alabama's five-star freshman, ran for his first career touchdown and broke the 100-yard rushing mark himself.
Alabama can stop the run: It was a refreshing change of pace for Alabama's defense, lining up in base formation time and time again. Finally, guys like nose guard Brandon Ivory could do what they do best: eat up tackles and stuff the run. Against Arkansas, they did just that. The Razorbacks vaunted duo of tailbacks -- Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams -- was held largely in check with 125 yards and no touchdowns on 31 carries.
Replacing Vinnie: Really, there's no replacing junior safety Vinnie Sunseri's leadership and big-play ability. He's too good and too experienced a player to just plug someone in and move right along. But Alabama will certainly try, and with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix back from suspension and Landon Collins developing at safety, the Tide is in good position to move forward. Mixing in Jarrick Williams and Geno Smith in the back end of the defense also provides options. Look for the staff to mix and match in the coming weeks as it tries to find the right packages.