Tide Coaches Select Players For Honors

There are many who watched Alabama’s 25-20 win over previously number one Mississippi State Saturday and thought, “Blake Sims was the hero of the game” after Sims converted three third down plays – two with scramble runs en route to the winning touchdown.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban has said that Sims performed well in that win over Mississippi State. But earning Player of the Week recognition from the Crimson Tide coaching staff obviously means reaching a high bar.

Nine Alabama players were recognized by the coaching staff following Saturday’s 25-20 victory over top-ranked Mississippi State, but Blake Sims wasn’t one of them. Truly, a normal observer of Crimson Tide games probably would have a difficult time picking out a lot of the players who earn player of the week, and would select a number who don’t get the accolades. That’s because players are graded on the entire game, each play, and not just on having made a few selective plays.

Here’s what really happened.

Jalston Fowler and T.J. Yeldon were the honorees on offense, while Eddie Jackson, Nick Perry and D.J. Pettway represented the defense. Landon Collins, Rashaan Evans, Dillon Lee and J.K. Scott made the special teams list.

Yeldon led the Crimson Tide in rushing with 72 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. His 7-yard TD run put Alabama up 25-13 with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. Yeldon also caught two passes for 16 yards. Fowler did an outstanding job blocking from his fullback position and added a 35-yard reception in the second quarter that led to a field goal.

The defense limited Mississippi State to 146 first half yards as Alabama took a 19-3 lead. Perry led all tacklers with 12 stops, including nine solo. He also combined for a tackle for loss and recorded an interception that stopped a drive at the Alabama 22-yard line in the second quarter. Pettway chipped in with four total tackles (three solo) while Jackson was credited with seven total tackles (four solo). Jackson’s three pass break-ups were a team-high.

On special teams, Collins had a tackle inside the 20 on punt coverage and forced two fair catches. Evans was credited with one stop inside the 20 on kickoff coverage with two assists. Lee contributed on kickoff coverage as well with three tackles, one inside the 20. Scott averaged 45.6 yards on seven punts with five inside the 20. He now leads the nation with 53.5 per cent (23-of-43) of his punts inside the 20. Alabama now ranks second nationally in net punting and Scott is second in the NCAA stats with an average of 46.8 yards per punt.

This week Alabama hosts Western Carolina for homecoming. Kickoff will be at 3 p.m. CST Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. the SEC Network will televise the game.

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