2021 NFL Draft: Ja’Marr Chase and the joys of the slant route

On its surface, there are few more elementary route concepts in football than the slant. There are different iterations, of course, but it’s an angular route designed to attack the leverage of a defense and have the receiver work in short areas to graze on any open space, and take advantage. There are receiver subtleties, […]

LSU 2021 projected depth chart: How will new DC Daronte Jones jump-start the defense?

The scheme isn’t changing. At least not drastically. Ed Orgeron wanted an attacking 4-3 defense last year under Bo Pelini, and new LSU defensive coordinator Daronte Jones clarified in his media debut Tuesday he will operate primarily out of a four-man front again. This information comes well-timed for a new defensive depth chart projection, where […]

Alabama’s pass rush conundrum: How effective has it really been?

Is the glass half empty or half full? As with a lot of things, it depends on your perspective. Is Alabama’s pass rush effective or ineffective? Well, it depends on your perspective, how you interpret stats and which stats you value most. Here are the facts. Form your own opinion. Alabama ranks 12th in the […]

How Nick Saban’s change of philosophy turned the SEC into a passing league

Asked last week about his team and his conference’s many poor defensive showings thus far, LSU coach Ed Orgeron used a phrase to describe SEC offenses that would have seemed wildly incongruous up until very recently.  “This is a league where it’s like basketball on grass now,” he said. Click here to red the rest […]

Kevin Harris has emerged as South Carolina’s surprising star: ‘He’s been a stud’

COLUMBIA, S.C. — When Kevin Harris walked onto the football field for the first time as a 5-year-old, he received a veteran’s introduction to the game. “The first thing we did for 30 minutes was drive that sled,” said Derek Sills, who coached Harris that season and would continue to do so for the next […]

Joe Burrow debut analysis: Bengals have found their long-term quarterback

Joe Burrow represents a new dawn for Bengals fans everywhere. The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner was selected first overall by the Bengals back in April. One COVID dominated off-season later and Burrow made his long-awaited debut at home, in front of an empty Paul Brown stadium, against the LA Chargers. Burrow impressed mightily and was […]

The Athletic’s 2020 preseason college football All-Who’s Actually Playing Team

A preseason All-America team one month ago would have looked a lot different than one today. In an ordinary season, Big Ten stars like Justin Fields and Micah Parsons and Pac-12 standouts like Penei Sewell and Hamilcar Rashed would have been lay-up choices for The Athletic’s All-America teams. But no one in the Big Ten […]

Alabama’s biggest preseason question: Is the run defense ready to bounce back?

The COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the 2020 college football season is evolving. This story is part of a series examining programs’ biggest on-field questions as preseason camps open. When the final chapter of the 2019 Alabama season was written, how could the takeaway have been anything other than a missed opportunity? That may seem harsh […]

The 10 most important players for South Carolina in 2020: Part II

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Amid the uncertainty surrounding college football during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been easy to forget that South Carolina finished 4-8 last year. Of course, that’s fine with the Gamecocks. What will not be fine is a repeat of that performance. There are reasons to believe that South Carolina can put together […]

The most important Alabama players: No. 8, DeVonta Smith

With all the projections about what lies ahead for Alabama’s season, there is one area in which there are no question marks. That’s the offense. That’s no surprise, given that Alabama has arguably the best offensive line in college football, a running back who ended 2019 playing the best football of his career and two […]

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