Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Alabama DOES Have A Weakness: The Second Half

The Crimson Tide has rolled early and often this season in grinding out a 7-0 record. The feature a power back, Glen Coffee (760 yards this season, averaging 7 yards a pop), that compares favorably with the conference's best (Knowshon Moreno, who has 762 yards at 6 yards a pop). They've got a steady quarterback, John Parker Wilson (8 TDs) that can manage a game. A more than serviceable defense. So, what's their weakness, you say?
It's the second half of games.
If the second half of the Georgia game (one in which Bama raced to a 31-0 lead) didn't raise an alarm - final score Tide 41, UGA 30 - then last week's near debacle against Ole Miss did. Bama held a commanding 24-3 in the first half, then was outscored 17-0 in a second-half drop-off that was not unlike the stock market the same week. In fact in the last 3 games, Bama has not showed a willingness or aptitude to finish those games.
In those three first halves, Alabama has outscored opponents 69-3. In the second half, the combined count is an alarming 61-13 in favor of the opponents.
For Bama opponents, that's a startling silver lining: Stay in the game in the first half, and you can pound them out in the 2nd. A second-half slide is usually a result of conditioning. Maybe Nick Saban's workout programs don't emphasis staying power or energy retainment, whatever. With games against Tennessee (this Saturday), LSU and Auburn remaining, Bama is sure to stumble at least once (could it be LSU)? The loss of Terrance Cody is a big one, but it won't matter much in the big scheme. Bama's that good.

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