Alabama Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Alabama Crimson Tide


The Crimson Tide, under Coach Nick Saban, are always expected to be in the national title hunt and this year is no different. As usual they are led by a stingy defense that punishes opponent’s offense from the snap to the whistle. They also have an arsenal full of talented skill players, capable of making plays against any team in the nation and behemoths that dominate the trenches. They make few mistakes and force opponents to make many.  This ultra-successful recipe may lead them to yet another BCS Championship and their third appearance in four years.

2012 Record: 12-1, 7-1
Coach: Nick Saban
Coach Bowl Record: 8-6

Big Wins: 9/1 vs Michigan (41-14), 11/3 at LSU (21-17)
Bad Losses: 11/10 Texas A&M (24-29)

This team’s true strength starts from inside the trenches on both sides of the ball. Their defense gets the most credit as they finish the year in the top five in just about every major defensive category. They do an excellent job of stopping the run, forcing opponents into an unfavorable and predictable situation. From there Alabama is able to send some exotic blitzes and turn up the heat, forcing quick throws from quarterbacks or generating sacks. They are capable of beating you with their choice of defense, man or zone, coverage or pressure, because they have the athletes to do it all. This allows Coach Saban and the rest of the defensive staff to formulate a game plan that will expose opponent’s weak points on offense and force them into an uncomfortable situation, which generally leads to many mistakes.

The Crimson Tide are not all about defense though. A.J. McCarron, their junior signal caller, is one of the most effective and efficient passers in the nation. He is able to complete passes based on what the defense is willing to give him, but still takes shots down the field, especially if there is a breakdown in coverage. He rarely makes mistakes by turning the ball over, allowing Alabama to control the clock and capitalize off of opponent’s mishaps. Their run game, behind a gigantic offensive line, is also one of the best in the businesses. When playing Alabama, teams know that they need to execute perfect and always be in perfect alignment or Alabama will make them pay dearly, on both sides of the ball, putting a lot of pressure on players and coaches

Alabama does not have many weaknesses, but were exposed by a talented Texas A&M team, who took advantage of a secondary that may not be as good as everyone once thought, in their only loss of the season. Their biggest weakness is in their pass protection, allowing over a sack and a half per game, quite a bit for a team that prefers to run the ball and play smash mouth football. This hinders their passing attack, which already has some weaknesses. Although A.J. McCarron is one of the most efficient passers in the game, he does not accumulate much yardage. This is due to a combination of a preference of checking the ball down rather than forcing mistakes and a lack of passing attempts. In the special team’s facet of the game, the Crimson Tide is solid, but not spectacular. Their weakest special teams unit is their punt return team, which is averaging slightly over 10 yards per return.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Eddie Lacy, RB, 1,182 yards
Passing: A.J. McCarron, QB, 2,669 yards
Receiving: Amari Cooper, WR, 894 yards
Tackles: C.J. Mosley, LB, 99
Sacks: Adrian Hubbard, LB, 6.0
Interceptions: Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, S, 4; Robert Lester, S, 4

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 214.17 (22nd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 218.83 (77, 9)
Total Offense: 433.00 (43, 4)
Scoring Offense: 39.00 (15, 2)
Rushing Defense: 77.00 (2, 1)
Pass Defense: 156.67 (3, 1)
Total Defense: 233.67 (1, 1)
Scoring Defense: 9.25 (1, 1)
Turnover Margin: 1.17 (9, 4)
Sacks: 2.50 (26, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.67 (49, 4)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
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 11/24


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