Coaches Cite Eight Tiders For Saturday Play

Among the adages popular with football coaches are: (a) one never knows when a big play is going to happen, so players have to play hard on every play; and (b) in a close game, a handful of plays will make the difference.

Alabama didn’t have a close game Saturday. The Crimson Tide downed Southern Mississippi by a score of 52-12. Nevertheless, there were Alabama players making big plays, and on Monday Bama announced that eight players had been selected by the coaching staff for recognition for their performances.

There were three on offense, three on defense, and two on special teams. Amari Cooper, Austin Shepherd and Blake Sims were honorees on offense, while Landon Collins, Trey DePriest and Xzavier Dickson represented the defense. Rashaan Evans and Kenyan Drake made the special teams list.

The offense again eclipsed the 500-yard mark in terms of total yardage, which included 333 yards on the ground. Cooper recorded his fifth straight 100-yard game to tie the school record with eight catches for 135 yards and one score. He also passed Ozzie Newsome for third on the all-time career receiving yardage list. Shepherd had the highest grade on the offensive line and led the team with five knock-down blocks. He did not allow a sack or get called for any penalties. Sims had another efficient outing at quarterback, completing 12-of-17 passes for 168 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 46 yards and another touchdown on five carries.

The defense limited Southern Miss to 263 total yards and 56 rushing yards. Alabama now ranks second in the SEC and 10th nationally in total defense. Collins had a game-high 12 tackles (6 solo), a QB hurry while combining on a tackle for loss. DePriest was next with six total tackles and he also had a QB hurry and a half-TFL. Dickson was credited with three tackles, one behind the line of scrimmage, along with two pass break-ups and three hurries.

Evans and Drake excelled on the kickoff team as they recorded two tackles apiece. Evans had his tackles on the USM 30 and 19-yard line while Drake made his stops at the 21 and 25.

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