‘Check-With-Me' Key To Offense
Alabama offensive line play. Check.
Receivers, particularly Julio Jones, getting open. Check.
Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy completed 21 of 32 passes for 264 yards against Tennessee. Julio caught 12 passes for an Alabama record 221 yards.
McElroy said afterwards, "I think my decision making was a little bit improved. That was something we tried to focus on, not only in the passing game, but also in the running game, and our checks.
"We did a realy good job in our checks, which I think were a difference-maker in the game. A lot of those checks led to big plays for Julio, and Marquis Maze had a play on it. It's great to have that kind of versatility."
Alabama had an open date this weekend. Bama, 7-1 overall and 4-1 in Southeastern Conference games, gets back to action Saturday at LSU. The Fighting Tigers have the same records. Kickoff Saturday will be at 2:30 p.m. CDT with television coverage by CBS.
Alabama Coach Nick Saban talks about the use of "check-wth-me." McElroy explained, "Check-wth-me is basically if they give us a certain look, we have the option to check to a run or a pass depending on the coverage and the front. We did that a lot against Tennessee, which was encouraging because we had kind of gotten away from that in road games. With this being a road game at Neyland Stadium with a loud atmosphere, it was encouraging that we were able to work together and communicate as an offense, both with the wide receivers and the offensive line.
"On those checks, run to pass and pass to run, whatever we were able to do, we did a great job of communicating, which is a big thing. We've done that in the past and haven't communicated as well, which has led to negative plays. So the fact we were on the same page, we were able to take advangtage of the shots that were there to be had."
McElroy said the check-with-me system has expanded in his second year as the Tide's quarterback and with a mostly veteran offense.
He said, "The system is pretty much the same, the packages are the same, but the number of things we can do with it (are more sophisticated). Last year we might go from a run play to a run play. But this year we have the option to go from run play to run or run play to pass play or even run play to deep pass. We have more versatility.
"I think Coach Mac (Offensive Coordinator Jim McElwain) has kind of given us the keys to the car."
McElroy said, "If we can build on that performance and improve, I think it will really help in this finishing stretch of the season."
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