Alabama Center and Offensive Line on the Move

The quarterback competition monopolized preseason conversations in Tuscaloosa. Although well deserved, scant dialogue occurred with regards to the position responsible for touching the football on every offensive snap. The center verbalizes the blocking assignments for the entire line and synchronizes the unit’s adjustments to defensive formations and exotic blitz packages on each play.

After those cerebral tasks are addressed, the critical exchange with the quarterback must be precisely executed with a direct or shotgun snap followed by the physically challenging act of neutralizing a hulking nose tackle or contending with an active middle linebacker.

Ross Pierschbacher, a redshirt sophomore was the apparent heir to fill the role, running at the top of the spring depth chart.  Bradley Bozeman was a reserve center and guard last season seeking to earn first team status.  Urban legend has surfaced characterizing the redshirt junior as being tough enough to contend with mammoth Alabama nose tackle Daron Payne  Henceforth, Bozeman was named the starting center for the opening game against USC.  The 6-5, 319 pound Roanoke native (Handley HS, AL) was recognized by the coaching staff for his play against Mississippi with the highest grade by an offensive lineman (86 percent).  He did not surrender a sack, commit a penalty or permit any pressure while recording three knockdowns.  Alabama (no. 1, 4-0, 1-0) rushed for a season high 334 yards against the Rebels.

The Alabama offensive line with multiple newcomers is in the midst of development.  Coordinating the collision-based choreography requires more than a few games.  Every contest is a chance to advance their individual technique and improve the precision of the collective run and pass blocking efforts.  Bama rushed the ball 46 times for 285 yards and a prosperous 6.4 average per carry today in the 48-0 shutout of Kent State (1-3, 0-0) at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.  

True freshman running back Joshua Jacobs scored his first two touchdowns and finished with a career best 97 yards on only 11 carries (8.8 yards per attempt).  Bozeman was impressed with the exploits of the McLain HS (Tulsa, OK) product and voiced his thoughts in the post-game interview following the win over the Mid-American Conference opponent.  He also expressed the solid piece of advice on manning the most important interior position and the progress of the group.

Alabama will host the Kentucky Wildcats (2-2, 1-1) for homecoming with a 6 PM CT kickoff to air on ESPN.

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