Alabama Football 2014 Bowl Capsule

Alabama Crimson Tide


After an early SEC loss at Ole Miss, Alabama had to keep crawling their way back up the rankings. Despite the brutal SEC West, the Crimson Tide did just that. There we some close calls along the way, like a 14-13 win at Arkansas and an overtime win at LSU, but Coach Nick Saban and company kept plugging along and ended up right where we thought they would at the beginning of the 2014 campaign; the top team in the nation.

2014 Record: 12-1, 7-1
Coach: Nick Saban
Coach Bowl Record: 8-7

Big Wins: 11/8 at LSU (20-13), 11/15 Mississippi State (25-20)
Bad Losses: 10/4 at Mississippi (17-23)

The Crimson Tide usually has one of the best defenses around. And often it is hard to argue against them not being the best defense in the FBS. There are chinks in the armor this year, but that is not the case when it comes to the rush defense. The unit allows about 93 yards per game on the ground. That is an amazing number, especially considering this team does not get too many sacks to skew that number. It is just solid, straight up run stuffing defense. On the other side of the ball, Alabama has turned into a surprisingly good passing team. Quarterback Blake Sims threw for 2,988 yards and 24 touchdowns through the 12 regular season contests. But the passing attack is more about receiver Amari Cooper. In those dozen games, he caught 103 passes for 1,573 yards and 14 touchdowns. Cooper is one of the best receivers in the nation and many teams have had no luck slowing him down. For the first time in years, this is an Alabama team that can fall behind and come back with their offense instead of having to rely on the defense to make big plays.

And that is especially good news since this defense has not made that many big plays. The turnover margin is extremely disappointing by Alabama standards. Even more disappointing is the pass defense. The unit ranks tenth in the SEC, allowing nearly 220 yards per game through the air. In the loss to the Rebels, Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. Those are not insane numbers by any means, but it shows that an efficient passing attack can beat the Tide. It is difficult to call the running backs a weakness for Alabama since the new found passing game has left fewer opportunities for T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry. Those are both very talented backs, but they do need to help keep the pressure off of Sims and Cooper.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: T.J. Yeldon, RB, 932 yards
Passing: Blake Sims, QB, 3,250 yards
Receiving: Amari Cooper, WR, 1,656 yards
Tackles: Landon Collins, DB, 91
Sacks: Xzavier Dickson, LB, 8.0
Interceptions: Landon Collins, DB, 3

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 206.8 (35th in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 282.6 (21, 2)
Total Offense: 489.3 (16, 2)
Scoring Offense: 36.7 (19, 3)
Rushing Defense: 92.7 (2, 1)
Pass Defense: 219.7 (54, 10)
Total Defense: 312.3 (11, 3)
Scoring Defense: 16.9 (6, 3)
Turnover Margin: -0.17 (72, 11)
Sacks: 2.33 (45, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 0.92 (7, 1)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2013    Sugar Bowl    Oklahoma (31-45)
2012    BCS Championship    Notre Dame (42-14)
2011    BCS Championship    LSU (21-0)
2010    Capital One Bowl    Michigan State (49-7)
2009    BCS Championship    Texas (37-21)
2008    Sugar Bowl    Utah (17-31)
2007    Independence Bowl    Colorado (30-24)

*all team stats through 12/1


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