Alabama was not its usual self in a 31-6 win over Colorado State on Saturday.
The home opener had all the fanfare of a big game, but the heavily favored Crimson Tide used this week like a glorified bye week. The offense struggled, key players were injured, new ones received playing time and starting positions for the first time and there was a clear emotional letdown after the sensory overload of Alabama’s visit to Texas A&M.
“I felt like as a whole, we didn’t really execute to the maximum of our abilities,” Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “That’s not an SEC opponent that we just played and the win really wasn’t what it should have been. I felt like we kind of got away with a win. We didn’t dominate that win.”
While the win was seen as a disappointment to many fans and some players, Alabama head coach Nick Saban was more positive about the win than expected.
“This team has responded to whatever negative circumstance they have had to face,” Saban said. “We might be able to go dictate with our intensity, sense of urgency, preparation, everything we have to do to be more dominant and more consistent in a game. I don’t think we did that tonight, and that was our goal going into the game.”
After correcting most of its issues on offense against A&M, Alabama’s offense again lacked continuity and energy, accounting for only 66 yards rushing and a touchdown from Kenyan Drake on fourth and 1, and one passing touchdown from AJ McCarron. McCarron attributed these struggles to a lack of communication.
“We didn’t do a great job communicating,” McCarron said in a terse postgame press conference. When asked a follow-up question concerning what contributed to their lack of communication, McCarron replied, “Communication, we didn’t do it.”