C34's 5 must-have's in the Bulldog gameplan vs Alabama


The “Battle of the Unbeatens” takes place in T-Town Saturday night. The Bulldogs come in as 24 point underdogs to Nick Saban and the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide. It should be a good ballgame, but Tuscaloosa is a tough place to play, especially for a team not used to this kind of stage. Fortunately for us, we have a veteran group of starters that should respond. Gameplanning for this game is huge, and here are 5 must-have’s for us this Saturday:

1. Run the ball straight ahead. – Bama plays a 3-4 defense. Every defense has weaknesses, and one way to take advantage of a team that plays only 3 down linemen is to run quick, straight ahead dive plays. We have two beasts on the offensive line playing guard in Tobias Smith and Gabe Jackson. Those guys need to help Dillion Day push the Bama NG back and create a small bubble in the middle of the Bammer defense. With straight ahead running, we can get 3-4 yards a pop and stay out of 3rd and long situations- which is a key to beating any defense. Mississippi had success doing this vs Bammer earlier in the season, but they got impatient on offense. We can’t do that. We must embrace the 12-13-14 play drives to shorten this game and keep them on defense.

2. “Malcolm in the Middle“- Now that we have started hitting the ball up inside to establish the running game, the Bammer inside LB’s will have to stay inside and have more focus on protecting the middle of the defense. Now is the time to hit Malcolm Johnson in the middle of the field behind those LB’s. Run the outside WR’s deep to occupy their CB’s and keep the Safety’s on the hashmarks, and let’s find some seams in the middle of that Bammer defense for Johnson and Green to take advantage of. We can win battles here in the passing game. We’re not going to win them outside vs their CB’s. Use the outside WR’s to run sprints down the outside all game long- taking those CB’s with them and pushing the Safety’s deep. The middle is where you beat the 3-4. Let’s work it.

3. Speed it up this week????- Before you look at your computer screen and say “Coach34, you’re crazy!!!” listen to me. Nick Saban is the best defensive coach in college football. Everybody knows that. So let’s dont give him time to sub and match-up with us like he has been gameplanning all week. Speed it up to get back to the line and line up. That keeps them from subbing on long drives. We don’t have to snap the ball fast- just give them the impression that we are going to, and force them to get lined up without using their depth against us. If they try and sub- snap the ball quick to catch them with too many men on the field or them not being lined up correctly. Saban has been bitching all year about teams doing this to defenses in college football. Let’s listen to the man and do to him the thing he hates most.

4. Use Perkins more in the passing game– If we are hitting it up inside on runs and throwing the ball down the middle of the field to Green and Johnson- their inside LB’s will be stuck in the middle of the field. Now we can release Perkins out in the flat to beat their LB’s for gains for 6-7-8 yards a pop. The inside LB’s wont be able to run out quick on Perkins or they open up bigger throwing lanes to our TE’s and WR’s in the middle of the field. Perkins should catch no fewer than 5 passes vs Alabama this Saturday, and should be targeted 7-8 times minimum.

5. Load the Box on Defense as much as possible– I know I’m being Captain Obvious here, but it’s a must. But we have to be smart about it. We cant always load up on 1st down, we have to pick our spots. But more times than not, we have to load it up and take our chances. Our DL is not the strength of our defense, our Secondary is. So we have to bring people up to help vs the run, and rely on our best players to do their job in the Secondary. We’re going to get burned a few times, but that’s football. Their OL has given up some sacks and has been slightly vulnerable to the blitz, so we have to go after them. Make McCarron throw it quicker than he wants. Dont let him get comfortable.

Lastly, Coach Mullen needs to get a few pointers for his pre-game speech from the master:

In Mullen We Trust,