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Alabama All Day: Opening Drive

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First of all, Bama won the toss and elected to receive the football, a decision I generally like and would say I wish Texas did more often if not for the fact that this year's offense has started so slowly, so often.

The key to the entire drive is the opening play from scrimmage, in which McElroy opens in the shotgun, trips receivers left, with Ingram (backfield) and Peek (TE) aligned weakside. Florida opens in 4-3 defense and brings up Brandon Hicks late to the LOS to blitz. Alabama easily handles Florida's five rushers, while Ingram releases into the short flat, Peek drags across the field right-to-left, and Julio Jones runs a hard square-in after 10 yards. McElroy half-pumps Ingram before seeing Julio Jones open -- behind the linebackers and in front of the DBs and hits him in stride near the sideline for a 15 yard gain. McElroy didn't see him, but Peek was even more wide open to his left.

Alabama eventually moves into field goal range and have to attempt a 48 yarder after Julio Jones drops a very catchable slant on 3rd down that would have kept the chains moving. Tiffin's kick is down the middle, and would have cleared 55 yards, if need be.

What's most interesting about the drive is the extreme diversity Alabama showed in their offensive formations. McElroy under center, McElroy in the shotgun. Single tight end with trips receivers right, twin tight ends with a slot receiver in motion. I-formation. Each and every play, something new. Nothing fancy or gadgety, but lots of variety.