Alabama football coach Nick Saban has seen many spring scrimmages during his coaching career, so he was not exactly surprised that the first game simulation of the spring by his Crimson Tide team Saturday translated into a mixed bag of results.
There were some glimpses of potential for his still-evolving 2016 team, including some individual highlights on both sides of the ball.
And there were also mistakes that will likely prove to be utilized for many teachable moments ahead for this team as it continues to work toward the April 16 A Day Game that will cap the spring season of work.
“This scrimmage was a lot like you’d expect a first scrimmage to be,” said Saban of the session at Bryant-Denny Stadium. “There were a lot of good things, and there were a lot of things that need to be cleaned up. We are looking at a lot of different people in a lot of different circumstances and situations.”
Bo Scarbrough, battling to replace the departed Derrick Henry at tailback, led the offensive attack with 132 yards rushing and three touchdowns on nine carries. The highlight of his day was a 95-yard touchdown run.
Sophomore Damien Harris, who is competing with Scarbrough, added 36 yards on 12 carries and caught a pass out of the backfield.
ArDarius Stewart led the receivers with seven catches for 100 yards, including touchdown grabs of 40 and 18 yards.
Calvin Ridley, coming off a prolific freshman campaign for the 2015 national champions, caught three passes for 50 yards.
Dalvin Tomlinson, who is seeing many repetitions this spring along the defensive line due to the injury to Jonathan Allen, paced an active Tide stop unit with a team-high eight tackles, including two sacks and two pass breakups. Linebacker Rashaan Evans, having an impressive spring thus far with coaches experimenting with him on the inside, also notched eight stops and a sack while fellow linebacker Ryan Anderson recorded seven tackles and a sack. Reuben Foster added seven stops and an interception return for a touchdown.
“I thought the effort was good,” added Saban. “The toughness was good. We got a lot of turns for a lot of players that needed the experience. The No. 1 thing about this is it really doesn’t matter about the result that anybody got out there today. It’s what are your goals? What do you need to do to accomplish the goals that you have? What sacrifices do you need to make? Who do you need to work with? Are you going to make the kind of choices and decisions to do the things you need to do to be the best that you can be and create the right habits so that you have the chance to play winning football? This gives us a great indication of where we are and what we need to do to improve.”
Alabama’s 2016 Golden Flake A-Day Game is scheduled for Saturday, April 16, at 2 p.m. (CT) inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The A-Day Game is once again free to the public and will be broadcast on ESPN.
APRIL 2 SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS:
Bo Scarbrough – 9 rushes, 132 yards, 3 TD
Jalen Hurts – 10 rushes, 57 yards
Damien Harris – 12 rushes, 36 yards
ArDarius Stewart – 7 rec., 100 yards, 2 TD
Calvin Ridley – 3 rec., 50 yards
Dalvin Tomlinson – 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 PBU
Rashaan Evans – 8 tackles, 1 sack
Reuben Foster – 7 tackles, 1 INT (returned for TD)
Ryan Anderson – 7 tackles, 1 sack
Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications