Playing Like Starter Snap For Lindsay

At the start of the second half against Ole Miss Saturday night in Bryant-Denny Stadium, no one could be sure that the three field goals put up by Cade Foster in the first half would be good enough for Alabama to get the win. Almost everyone thought the Crimson Tide needed more than the 36 rushing yards Bama had managed in the first two quarters.

Not only was the Alabama offense struggling, it was now playing without a key man. Chad Lindsay has taken over the center position after Ryan Kelly was lost to a knee injury that will keep him out through much of October.

The Tide had the ball to start the second half and T.J. Yeldon made a quick improvement to the Alabama rushing statistics with a 68-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter.

Yeldon, of course, did not accomplish that run on his own. It was third-and-two and the play went up the middle. Right guard Anthony Steen got it started with a clearing block at the line of scrimmage. And Chad Lindsay, playing perhaps his 15th or 20th play of the year, opened the door wide for Yeldon with a crushing block on an Ole Miss linebacker.

"That was definitely fun," said Lindsay, a 6-3, 302-pound fourth year junior from The Woodlands, Texas. "That was really, really fun."

Lindsay said he remembered that the play was an audible, but doesn't remember the original call. "We ran a bunch of plays after that," he explained. Bama rolled to a 25-0 win over the Rebels and ran 72 plays to Mississippi's 57. Alabama had a 17-minute advantage in time of possession.

There is a reason that Lindsay was able to go into the game and perform well.

"Every practice I prepared myself like I'm the starter," he said. "Even if this was my first game to go in because Ryan got hurt, I still prepared like a starter. I watched film like a starter. I do everything that I need to do, for example, what you saw on Saturday."

Chad had a little help in learning that skill. His father, Duff, was an offensive lineman at Mississippi State (1977-80). "I grew up listening to all the stuff and film work and everything," Chad said. "It definitely helps a lot."

Lindsay's father was there to speak with him following Saturday's game. "He was happy," Chad said. "He said ‘Good job' and ‘Way to step in there and step up.' It was cool to talk to him after the game."

Now, Lindsay said, "I'm not going to lie. I've definitely had some family call me that I haven't talked to in a long time. That was good to hear from people."

Lindsay thought he performed "really well." In addition to being fun, he said he gained a lot of confidence from the experience. And, he said, "I think it gave more confidence to my teammates."

While Lindsay had been practicing like a starter before last Saturday, now he is actually practicing with the starters. "It's been good," he said. "Really good. I'm out there with guys I've been playing with for a long time and now actually lining up next to them, talking to them, communicating with each other, playing next to each other."

Communication, Lindsay said, is the hardest part of the job. He said, "You have to make sure that everybody knows what to do on every single play; make sure everyone has communicated and everyone is prepared and ready to roll on the play."

Lindsay pointed out that he already has good rapport with quarterback A.J. McCarron. "I've snapped with AJ since I've been here," he said. "We talk all the time. There's good chemistry there."

In addition to good chemistry between the center and the quarterback, there must be good snaps.

"Perfect snaps come when you don't think about it," Lindsay said. "If you just snap the ball, most of the time it's going to be good.

"It must have been good Saturday, because he didn't complain about it."

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