Sims Had Chance To Run Tide Offense

Junior quarterback Blake Sims has been in Tuscaloosa four years, but Saturday's 45-3 win over Georgia State marked a first for the Alabama backup signal caller. As Coach Nick Saban pointed out in his post-game remarks, the contest was the first in which Sims was allowed to "run the whole offense. Not just a bunch of zone reads."



Blake Sims made the most of the chance by finishing 14-of-18 passing for 130 yards and one touchdown, while adding another ten yards on a pair of scrambles. He did so after relieving A.J. McCarron, who had a blistering 15-16, 166 yard, 4 score day for Alabama.

"It felt good," Sims said. "I'm very blessed that the coaches gave me the opportunity to get out there. The offensive line did a good job. I feel like the coaching staff and AJ (McCarron, the starting quarterback) kept me real calm. The repetition in practice helped.

"We all believe in each other and trust each other."

Redshirt freshman receiver Chris Black turned a lot of heads with his breakout performance of six catches, 54 yards, and a touchdown. He, too, noticed a confident Sims running the entire offensive package. "Me and Blake take a lot of reps in practice together," Black said. "We kind of have our own little chemistry going.

"It feels great to go out there and show what I can do. I have to keep pushing myself hard, and try to take advantage of every opportunity. I came back this year (off an injury) so anxious to play. I just have to be ready. I'm looking forward to getting better and continuing to improve."

Black said he's trying to learn from the great year teammate Amari Cooper had last season. "I watch film on Amari all the time to see what I can steal from him," he said.

Sophomore receiver Parker Barrineau, who prepped at American Christian Academy, was one of a number of Tide players to make his first career reception. "It's a blessing to be able to catch my first (collegiate) pass in front of my friends and high school coaches here in Tuscaloosa," he said. "The cornerback was playing ten yards off. It was a five-yard route, and I felt my heart in my throat, but Blake (Sims) made a good throw. You just have to stick to your fundamentals.

"Blake has improved ten times since last year. He makes great decisions. He throws a great ball and he's settling in."

Junior receiver DeAndrew White had another solid game with 45 yards on four grabs, including an eye-popping 10-yard touchdown grab from McCarron where White reached around the defender to pluck the pigskin away. "I heard the play called, and I lined up," White recalled. "I kept my eyes on the ball, I got my left hand out, and I caught the ball."

White said games like Saturday when Alabama was able to play 70 men, are invaluable. "These kinds of games help the young guys get more experience and confidence. In the future, we (veterans) won't be here to hold their hand. If somebody goes down, they can step up." Junior offensive guard Arie Kouandjio agreed about the young backups getting game action. "They're going to get a lot out of it," he said. "If different getting in there and getting to play as long as they did today. They'll be able to better prepare themselves in the future. As an offensive line, we've got a lot of great guys, and being interchangeable with each other has worked out well."

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