Alabama has scored at least 40 points in each of its past three games.
First -year Bama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin knows that to keep that up, he’ll have to keep an eye out for Ohio State defensive lineman Joey Bosa.
Bosa, a consensus All-American, leads the Buckeyes (and the Big 10) with 20 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks.
“What they’ve done with him on defense is kind of what people do on offensive guys, skilled guy,” Kiffin said. “They move him around, make it hard to find. And they’ve done a great job with that. I think they play very physical.”
How does Kiffin think the Buckeyes stack up with other teams he has faced this season?
“Their talent is as good as anybody we’ve played,” Kiffin said. “They’re very talented. Very long. Very strong players. You can tell that they were built to play physical defense, and that’s what they do. And they can run outside and cover.”
Kiffin will rely on quarterback Blake Sims, the fifth-year senior who started all season after a long wait to grab the reins.
The 6-foot, 208-pound Sims has made the most of his first season as a starter.
Sims set Alabama’s single-single record for passing yards (3,250) in a season, surpassing the old mark held by AJ McCarron. Sims has accounted for 32 touchdowns, also eclipsing McCarron’s mark.
Sims said he wasn’t bothered by the pressure of following McCarron.
“It wasn’t tough at all,” Sims said. “I tried to come into the season as a new year, start with a new team. I just pretty much tried to learn from what AJ taught me and what AJ did and what I saw from AJ. The way he studied the plays, the way he was humble, the way he kept his composure at all times, the way he was a game manager. He did a great job of that.”
Sims’ success came in the same year as the arrival of Kiffin.
“I don’t think it’s anything we did with him really,” Kiffin said. “I think Blake has had a great story so far this year, and it’s been because of the way he’s played and worked.”
Player to watch
Tim Williams. The sophomore from University High played 12 games for the Tide, recording five tackles and 1.5 sacks.
He had one quarterback hurry in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game against Missouri.
“I do that 30 times a game. They only show it when it works.”
-- Kiffin on being shown on TV throwing up his hands signaling a touchdown before the play starts
Did you know?
There are 10 players on the Alabama roster who played high school football in Louisiana: DL O.J. Smith (Airline), LB Denzell Devall (Bastrop), WR Raheem Falkins (Carver), DB Landon Collins (Dutchtown), DB Hootie Jones (Neville), WR Cam Sims (Ouachita Parish), DB Bradley Sylve (South Plaquemine), K Gunnar Raborn (St. Thomas More), LB Tim Williams (U-High) and OL Cam Robinson (West Monroe).
T.J. Yeldon has rushed for 3,275 career yards, fourth on the school’s all-time list. He passed 2009 Heisman trophy winner and current Saints RB Mark Ingram in the SEC title game. Yeldon, who has 3,275 yards, trails Kenneth Darby by 49 yards for third on the list ... Since the start of the 2008 season, Alabama is 69-2 when rushing for at least 140 yards. The only losses were to Auburn in 2013 and Ole Miss this season.
-- Rod Walker