Ryan Fowler’s Reaction: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – Austin Peay Edition
Every Monday, Nick Saban spends part of the afternoon showing his players the good plays, bad plays, and ugly plays from the previous Saturday.
The "good" section highlights what the team did well in the game; individual plays, series of plays, moments of the game that went good for the Crimson Tide.
The "bad" section focuses on plays that were run incorrectly, maybe a play designed to pick up more yardage but failed. It might include simple mistakes, a turnover or just a simple missed block or tackle.
The "ugly" section could also be called the disaster section, plays that went completely wrong or injuries. Ugly plays are learning moments for the team. Part of discussing the bad and ugly plays includes thinking through what they could have done differently.
Alabama vs. Austin Peay
We finally got some good football weather with 49 degrees at the start of the game, the only thing missing was the energy at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama’s rushing game was one of the positives and one of my big takeaways from the game. The Crimson Tide found success running between the tackles behind 150 plus yard day from Jase McClellan and 263 total yards.
The Tide defense got a shutout, only giving up 206 total yards. Will Reichard continues to be reliable, connecting with 2 field goals and hitting all his PAT attempts.
Nick Saban seemed pleased in his post-game press conference, I am not sure what motivates his constant bragging on this team even when they don’t deserve the praise. Maybe he is trying to keep this team “bought in” as they finish a disappointing regular season next week against Auburn.
This has been a confusing team to cover, energy is lacking throughout the game. Even with the game out of reach for Austin Peay, their sidelines had energy and Alabama’s seemed lethargic.
I understand that the Governors do not create excitement for Alabama but this has been a problem all season. Something is missing in this Alabama program and I can’t put my finger on the missing variable.
Nick Saban made a comment during the Saban coaches show on Thursday that they have to recapture the culture, the toughness and discipline that has been evident throughout the Saban era. Saban said they lost it during the season and maybe that is what I see missing.
The Crimson Tide will be faced with many off-the-field decisions, those decisions can not be made in November, but December and January will be require a lot to reestablish a championship culture.
Alabama announced 99,639 fans were inside Bryant-Denny Stadium to watch Alabama play Austin Peay. This number was based on the number of actual purchased tickets, not actual attendance which is misleading.
I would subtract at least 30,000 off the number as a fair estimate of actual fans inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Many will blame the fans for not showing up to support the Tide for an early 11 a.m. kickoff, but I am not going to blame the fans for not coming to the game.
The problem goes back to whoever thought adding Austin Peay to the Crimson Tide’s schedule was a good idea.
Saban has said multiple times in the last few months that they are in the entertainment business. Watching Austin Peay is not entertainment or least not worth the money that the athletic department wants fans to pay for this game.
Alabama and the rest of college football needs to understand something, schedule better opponents and the demand will increase for season tickets. Alabama’s home schedule this year included Utah State which currently has five wins, ULM who currently has four wins, Texas A&M who currently has three wins, Vanderbilt who currently has four wins, Mississippi State who currently has six wins, Austin Peay, an FCS opponent, that currently has seven wins and the final game vs. Auburn, who going into this weekend had four wins.
Alabama’s home schedule also included one less home game, and I would say the best opponent the Crimson Tide played at home was Mississippi State, which is unacceptable for the prices the athletic department demands for season ticket packages.
Some of this responsibility needs to be placed on the SEC office and not the Crimson Tide athletic department. Increasing from eight conference games to nine conference games would definitely be a step in the right direction. Even the best salespeople in the world would have trouble attempting to sell this home schedule for the premium prices.
Right now, the 65 inch LED TV is a winning option, 28-7, going into halftime; hopefully, administrators make the necessary adjustments to make going to games a more attractive option.
Coming up Monday with The Game with Ryan Fowler on Tide 100.9, we will discuss the good, bad, and ugly. You will also have a chance to win prizes from Daniel Moore Art, starting at 2 p.m. on Tide 100.9 and on the free Tide 100.9 app.