Christion Jones Big For Offense
The Alabama offense outgained the visitors 338 yards to 279 and tallied 16 first downs to the Rams' 13, but only managed to convert 2 of 10 third downs, none until the final offensive drive in the fourth quarter.
"We had a couple of miscues, and I don't think the offense came out with a lot of intensity," Jones said. "We've got to come out Monday (at practice) and get ready to roll. We'll correct what we've got to correct to get ready for Ole Miss."
Jones was also outstanding in Alabama's first game of the year when Bama defeated Virginia Tech 35-10, Jones scoring on a punt return, kickoff return, and pass reception.
The Rebels visit Bryant-Denny next week for a 5:30 CT kick on ESPN.
"We can't have a night like tonight," noted senior quarterback A.J. McCarron, who finished 20-for26 passing for 258 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Told by a reporter he seemed down, McCarron curtly replied "I'm fine" before ending his brief interview session.
One member of the Tide offense who was quite upbeat was offensive guard Kellen Williams, who made his first career start in place of the injured Anthony Steen (concussion). As excited as Williams was, he said the Tide locker room was "pretty somber. We felt like we left a lot on the field. We didn't perform the way we are capable of, even though it was a win.
"I've prepared like a starter every week, and tonight I got my chance."
Defensively, the Rams seemed to confuse Alabama despite not scoring a touchdown. "We've still got a long way to go," said sophomore linebacker Denzel Devall. "We've just got to get better. We need to have a great week of practice. We came out with some juice, but in some areas, we've just got to get better. We've just got to buy into the system.
"We look forward (to playing Ole Miss). It's always best to get into SEC play, because it lets you know where you're at and where you stand."
Senior linebacker C.J. Mosley hopes to see a different Tide when the Rebels come calling, as opposed to the one that played Saturday against the Rams. "A lot of their (big) plays came from us not getting in the right place. We have to adjust and make changes. There's no excuse.
"We didn't execute our game plan to the maximum of our ability. Little things like that can get you beat in an SEC game." Sounding much like his head coach, senior defensive end Ed Stinson said, "We still need to establish our identity as a team. We need to work on our execution. We could have done more than what we did, as a team. We've got to come back Monday, and get better at practice."
Sophomore safety Landon Collins was again a demon on special teams and got a lot of snaps in the dime back position for a second straight week. He had a bird's eye view, and almost participated directly in the punt block for a score. "The man to my side freed up Kenyan (Drake) and he came in clean (for the block). Dillon (Lee) scooped it up. I thought he was going to drop it, so I put my hands underneath his. He thought I was trying to strip him."
Did that thought cross Collins' mind? "Yeah, a little bit," he said, grinning.
Collins said he told freshmen corners Maurice Smith and Eddie Jackson, who saw meaningful secondary snaps for the first time, to "be calm. It's a fast game. Everything's going to slow down after a while."
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