Offensive line working to get back to Alabama Standard against USF
By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Juliet Brown
While the Alabama offensive line left much to be desired in the loss to Texas, the unit’s confidence hasn’t wavered.
“Our mindset is still being dominant, still being nasty finishing blocks,” left guard Tyler Booker said. “That mindset’s still there. We just have to add technique and what we learned in practice to that mindset, but our identity hasn’t changed. We’re still the same offensive line. We just have to back up the stuff we said this off season and prove it now.”
The offensive line gave up five sacks and couldn’t get the run game going in the second half. Alabama’s leading rusher only ran for 48 yards. The Longhorn defense gave up a mere nine yards on the ground in the second half after Alabama rushed for 98 through two quarters. Booker contributed the struggles up front to “movement” by the Texas defense.
“I feel like we met their physicality,” Booker said. “It’s just towards the end of the game, they started doing a lot of movement. That was the thing Coach (Eric Wolford) Wolf pointed out to us is that they’re physical and they play low.”
The unit committed five penalties which erased two touchdowns and cost the team 30 yards of field position. The penalties came at inopportune times and stalled out multiple drives.
A steep learning curve was somewhat expected having three new starters on the offensive line. True freshman Kadyn Proctor had a rough night at left tackle. He got beat multiple times and a holding call negated a 32 yard touchdown pass.
“You’re an 18-year-old playing in front of 100,000 people, playing against one of the most talented teams in the country,” Booker told him. “You’re going to make mistakes no matter what it is.”
Booker was in Proctor’s position last year. A true freshman starting in arguably one of the hardest positions to play in football. While he did make mistakes, Booker learned and got better as the year went on. By the end of the season, he made the Freshman All-SEC team and was selected as a Freshman All-American.
“I’m very excited to see how he responds to the rest of the season because I can see a lot of great things coming from him,” Booker said.
Alabama next travels to Tampa for a matchup against USF (1-1). The Bulls beat Florida A&M and only gave up 19 yards on the ground; however the defense surrendered 374 passing yards. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. and will air on ABC.