Alabama improves in second fall scrimmage

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Alec Morris (11) throws to Parker Barrineau (87)

Tyler Waldrep

Headed into its final fall scrimmage, the Alabama football team had several question marks. The post scrimmage break down from coach Nick Saban does not indicate that the team has found the answers it was looking for, but it does suggest overall improvement.

No stat sheet was released, but Saban did highlight a few numbers from the scrimmage. Some of the stats addressed included the number of pass attempts the by team’s various quarterbacks. Quarterback David Cornwell’s pass attempts were not released to the media.

“All the quarterbacks got some opportunity today,” Saban said. “I think [Cooper] Bateman had 27 throws, [Alec] Morris had 21, [Jake] Coker had 26 [and Blake] Barnett had 11.”

Saban said he thought that Coker did a decent job considering he missed three practices earlier in the week with a foot injury, and Morris has a good understanding of the offense, helping the other players perform better.

“I think that [Morris] is probably showing command at the position, which I think is important,” Saban said. “He needs to continue to work on touch, and accuracy and efficiency, but we’re really pleased with what Alec has done.”

Saban said the passing game was the priority today. Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart had an outing that resulted in eight receptions, and Saban said he was pleased to see Stewart make some good adjustments on contested plays. 

When Alabama did run the ball, a majority of the reported carries were given to freshman running back Damien Harris, who carried the ball 14 times. Saban said Derrick Henry had eight carries and Kenyan Drake had six. Drake was tested today to see how he handled contact.

“We wanted to get Kenyan Drake hit,” Saban said. “He hadn’t been hit since the Ole Miss game so he scrimmaged today quite a bit.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Saban said that linebackers Reggie Ragland and Reuben Foster both had great scrimmages. Saban said the defense scored two touchdowns off of turnovers today, and special teams were also addressed.  The coach said Cyrus Jones has proven to be a good return man, and Chris Black was mentioned as a possible backup option.

Only two new injuries were reported after the scrimmage, both involving offensive linemen. Dominick Jackson strained his shoulder and Korren Kirven got a sprained knee, but Saban said he doesn’t expect either player to miss more than a week at the most.

Saban said he saw a lot of progress today, but he said the team still has a long way to go.

“I think it’s up to the players,” he said. “How are you going to battle the adversity that you need to go through to make the improvements that we need to make.”