Game of the Week Review: Alabama vs. LSU
Cam Newton – I hope that everyone realizes that as of today none of the allegations with regards to a pay-to-pay scenario have been proved. Can we please reserve judgment until that time?
BCS Championship Prediction – Oregon vs. TCU, with Auburn still having to face Alabama in the Iron bowl, as well as a SEC championship game, the likelihood of them escaping without a loss is very low in my opinion. A loss would open the door for TCU, already ahead of Boise in the standings.
TCU – What can you say but wow! I predicted a win by 2 touchdowns but I do not think anyone predicted a 47-7 victory over the 3rd ranked offense in college football.
Marcus Cannon – Excellent size and athletic combination, very few guys that are 6-6, 350 move as well as he does. Now he does need to work on his footwork and technique, but he is explosive, impossible to move and showcases the ability to get out in space. Some team is going to like him enough to take him in the first round, there is just too much potential.
Andy Dalton – Thought he played very well, showcasing excellent poise in the pocket and demonstrating a decent arm being able to get down the field. This guy is going to be an NFL QB and I think could be better than either Mallett or Locker.
Von Miller – One guy that scouts have many different views about is Von miller. Up until this point Miller had not had a great season but on Saturday he may have put himself back into 1st round status with 8 tackles (3TFL), 1.5 sacks and many pressures on the night . A&M has won 3 straight games which coincides with Millers improved play.
Alabama vs. LSU
Les Miles continues to astound people and should be getting more respect then he has gotten, however I also think he is coaching a team whose talent is actually very underrated. Other then the QB position they have excellent players at nearly every position and have 2 solid 1st rounders in Peterson and Nevis and several 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounders potentially with players like Kelvin Sheppard and Terrence Toliver.
Julio Jones – Cemented my thinking that the separation between him and AJ Green as the top wideouts is getting smaller by the game. I personally think Jones will be a better pro then Green because of his overall physicality. Against Patrick Peterson, Jones was extremely impressive, getting enough separation to give McElroy a good target nearly every time he dropped back. Additionally, Julio was able to use his frame to beat Peterson to the inside on his touchdown catch and make very athletic opposite shoulder catch in the first half. Jones finished the game with 10 receptions for 89 yards a touchdown and at least gave the impression that his concentration issues are behind him.
Marcel Dareus – If I was not looking for him on every play I would not have even noticed he played. Everything about Dareus still holds true, he is very gifted athletically, possessing the size and instincts to be an elite player at the next level. I am however starting to question his desire as he just is not a difference maker every game. Up to this point this was the biggest game for Alabama this year and he failed to show up. He is a top 10 pick and I will wait for final judgment on him until after the Iron bowl, but there are a number of DT’s that are playing much better than him this year, namely Nick Fairley and Drake Nevis.
Dont’a Hightower – He played much better than I had seen him on two previous occasions, but instinctively he is not all there and he just is not aggressive enough. He was around the ball more and made some tackles in the run game but he continued to act very tentatively. He is not a difference maker out there for Alabama, and if he isn’t a difference maker in college how do you expect him to be one in the NFL. Depending on how he finishes the year, possibly looks like a 3rd round pick but could drop further if he continues to be unimpressive.
Drake Nevis – Had the best game of any player on either team Saturday. The best thing he does is the way he uses his hands to slip blocks and was able to get consistent pressure on McElroy even though he was double teamed most of the game. Nevis also made the game changing play when he was able to slip a block and then knock the football out of Greg McElroy’s hands. Nevis did show up for this game on the biggest stage but as mentioned in the telecast he had not been quite so dominate in previous games demonstrating some lapses in consistency.
Patrick Peterson – I had watched him in other games but had not seen teams throw at Peterson as much as McElroy did. The way he prevented Jones from getting any significant separation throughout the game and tackling him immediately after catch, I was incredibly impressed. As well at 6-2 220, he plays the run like a linebacker and is a complete football player in every aspect of the game. While he still needs to improve his recognition of routes and his anticipation, based upon potential and athleticism he would be my first choice at CB. Prince Amukamara would be slightly behind.
Guys who impressed me
Greg McElroy – Along with Julio Jones I think McElroy had one of his best performances as a collegiate player. McElroy finished the game only 23-34 for 223 yards, with 2 touchdowns and 1 tipped interception. Not overly impressive stats, but it is how he played. His ball placement was excellent throwing the ball into tight spots and leading his receivers perfectly. On one particular throw he hit Julio Jones along the sideline where he purposely through behind Jones on his opposite shoulder. Not Patrick Paterson or any cornerback in the NFL could have stopped that pass. He has always been known as a cool character while under pressure and had never lost a game as a starter until this year against South Carolina, but this game showed that McElroy possesses many of the skills that scouts look for in a quarterback.
Jordan Jefferson – While he may never be your prototypical drop back QB, I think without a doubt he is maturing and at least beginning to turn into a passer going 10-13, 144 yards and his first passing touchdown of the year. I think that Les Miles may abandon the 2 quarterback system next year making Jefferson the full time starter.
Kelvin Sheppard – Now I am not saying he is a first round pick by any means and is probably a 3rd round pick, but a person cannot watch one of his games and not come away without being impressed with his intensity and activity. Sheppard always seems to be around the ball which is an important trait for any linebacker and he possesses better instincts then a lot of other ‘backers out there. Demonstrates some play making ability at times as well.
Guys who didn’t impress me
Terrence Toliver – He caught 3 passes for 42 yards and was never a factor in the game. While he was not targeted often in the game I do think it suggests that on a team without a lot of elite offensive talent that he is not a larger part of the offense. The Tigers do not see him as an elite weapon and most likely the NFL will not either.