7 way-too-early predictions for Alabama's new-look offense in 2022
Alabama’s spring practices left them with some more suitable answers to help replace the missing offensive pieces from last year’s 13-2 campaign. Based on the early returns, their offense should eventually fall into its place despite the losses of tackles Evan Neal and Chris Owens, wide receivers Jameson Williams, John Metchie III and Slade Bolden, and running back Brian Robinson.
Coming off single-season school records in passing yards (4,872) and touchdowns (47), Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young will need to raise the bar and further find a deeper comfort level in directing an offense with new pieces in key positions.
Will Alabama’s offense be the difference in the team’s pursuit of appearing in the CFP title game Jan. 9, 2023? Here are 7 early season predictions:
Young will make history and win the Heisman again
Taking over the reins from Mac Jones, Young blossomed along the way into the quarterback the Tide envisioned before the start of the season. Over his last 9 games before the championship game, Young threw for 3,133 yards with 29 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
With the losses of his weapons of wideouts from a year ago, the spotlight will be mainly on him. As the season progresses, Young will adapt and gain self-assurance as well as answer the critics on whether he is the best quarterback in the game.
Young may not reproduce the same lofty numbers — let’s say he finishes 4,300 yards with 40 touchdowns, and runs for another 300 yards — but he will show that he is worthy of a 2nd Heisman bid. If that happens, he’ll join Ohio State’s Archie Griffin as the only 2-time Heisman winners.
Young breaks Bama’s all-time passing records
Last season, Young broke single-season school records for TD passes (47) and passing yards (4,872).
This season, he’ll become the Tide’s career leader in both categories.
Young enters the season with 48 career TD passes. Tua Tagovailoa set the record, throwing 87 career TD passes.
Young needs to get to 40 TD passes to break that mark in what very likely will be his final college season.
AJ McCarron holds the program record for most career passing yards with 9,019. Young enters the season with 5,028. He needs just 3,992 to break that mark.
Would there be a better time to set that record than during the Iron Bowl?
Burton, Brooks and (surprise!) Law will be the next Big 3
Remember the number: 3,775. That was the number that Williams, Metchie III, Bolden, and Robinson combined in total receiving yardage last season. Tight end Cameron Latu is the leading returning receiver with 410 yards with 8 touchdowns. However, this isn’t anything new for the Tide, as the above-mentioned quartet replaced Heisman winner DeVonta Smith.
Enter Jermaine Burton. The Georgia transfer who led the Bulldogs in receptions the past 3 years, was described by head coach Nick Saban as “the most consistent guy” at the position during the spring. Burton has size, speed, hands, and most importantly, the play-making ability to line up anywhere on the field, and should catch north of 70 balls for over 1,500 yards.
Ja’Corey Brooks began to show his wares late in the season last year, and he figures to be a prominent contributor. JoJo Earle is a projected starter and has been billed as a potential playmaker since he arrived, but keep an eye on freshman Kendrick Law. A 4-star recruit from Louisiana, Law’s speed caught plenty of eyes in the spring. Law has the potential to emerge from a sleeper to a staple even after the late addition of Louisville transfer Tyler Harrell.
Of course, Saban might not be done adding weapons. Former Pitt star receiver Jordan Addison will start and star wherever he lands.
Gibbs will grind the ground game
Georgia Tech import running back Jahmyr Gibbs provides the Tide a new wrinkle in the offense. Gibbs has breakaway speed and accumulated 746 yards on the ground last season for the Yellow Jackets. He also will be a weapon out of the backfield, as he caught 36 balls for 470 yards last year. Saban loves his speed, and he will take some pressure off Young throwing the ball.
Jase McClellan, Trey Sanders and Roydell Williams provide depth, but Gibbs will lead the team in rushing this fall, breaking the 1,000-yard barrier.
And he might completely redefine expectations for an Alabama running back in the passing game.
New-look o-line will come together in time
This situation looms as the current major challenge for Alabama with tackles Evan Neal and Chris Owens off to the NFL. They also will deal with new line coach Eric Wolford, who replaced Doug Marrone. The unit allowed 57 sacks last season.
The new unit allowed 10 “2-hand touch” sacks during their spring game, but don’t be overly concerned. Wolford is a seasoned SEC veteran, and he does have a stable to help fill the void.
Tackle JC Latham and guard Emil Ekiyor Jr. bring back the most experience, and tackle Tyler Steen was a 3-year starter at Vanderbilt. The line may have some rough outings early in the season, but they will emerge as a steady force down the stretch.
Points per game will take a slight dip
Alabama has finished 1st or 2nd in the SEC in scoring for 6 consecutive years. Last year was the 4th time in that stretch that they led the league — and 2nd in a row.
Can they make it 3 in a row in 2022?
Alabama averaged 39.9 points per game last year — good for 6th in the country. With the offense likely taking some time to ripen with new faces in the fold, the Tide eventually will hit their stride in the second half of the season.
They won’t top 40 points per game, but they have too many weapons to not average at least 35.
Tide bring it home
With a team that should make its mark after the first few weeks, Saban and his staff will need to do their homework this season. With an offense led by Young, Burton and Gibbs, the Tide may hit a stumbling block early, but they will gain momentum and peak at the right time.
In a rematch with Georgia, the Tide win their 7th national championship under Saban, giving him his 8th overall.
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If young stays healthy he will probably take those passing records… I’m curious to see what kind of roll Gibbs will play.
The writer says the O line will be better, yet predicts that there will be a slight dip in scoring, even with Bryce winning the Heisman again. If the O line play is better than last year, Alabama will average well over 40 PPG.
Where does SDS find these guys?
The writer seems to think that J C Latham has more experience on the o-line than Javion Cohen. I don’t know where he gets his information but it is incorrect.
Adding the Pitt WR would be a large boost for the offense.
He is of the opinion that the line will be improved but will take a few games to get there. I don’t know what is going to happen, obviously, but if some of these receivers and running backs get where they are trying to get to, no defense is going to be able to cover everyone. Bama will have receivers with good speed, at least 2 with blinding speed, and hopefully all the running backs will be proficient receivers out of the backfield, as well as running the ball. With Bama’s D improving with experience, they should not have to score as many points as last year but may do so anyway.
I doubt the defense being better will have much, if anything to do with how the offense operates. It’s just the nature of Tides offense to score quickly and often.
In 2021 Alabama averaged 40 PPG after replacing 9 starters from the 2020 offense, including 5 first rounders….and that was with an abysmal O line that got our QB sacked 40 times.
If the O line improves enough to even cut the sacks by 50%, I simply don’t see this offense averaging less than 42-45 PPG
A Negan Whopper from the Arkansas page.
I used to root for Arkansas even before Sam Pittman. I also love Pittman. I did a bunch of lobbying for Sam Pittman to be hired at Arkansas. Because I knew someone was going to hire him and Arkansas is his dream school.
Pittman always loved Arkansas. He always wanted to return. Trust me. Y’all were about to make a TERRIBLE HIRE and I absolutely did some things to make them remember Pittman!!!! That’s the TRUTH!!!!
PS. So far it appears I was right!!!!!
Georgia has better talent at receiver than Alabama. Outside of Will Anderson, Georgia’s defensive front is better than Alabama. So how does Alabama compete with Georgia? Answer: Alabama can’t compete with Georgia. Georgia will get another Natty in 2023!
Just your daily reminder that even Jawjuh fans secretly believe their backdoor “championship” is a fraud
Sad, can’t let it go can you, gabe…oh well
Speaking of backdoor fraud…if you recall, last year I made the comment that for the first time since Saban did the Bama program reload, an opponent would be staring back across the field at Sir Nick with more top-level talent than Nick had. That talent sure showed out in Indy, didn’t it?
Now this little ditty comes out the other day…the stats released regarding how many picks the top programs in the nation have produced in the past four NFL Draft classes… From the humper I did not know that file:
• Georgia 38
• Alabama 36
• Ohio State 35
• LSU 32
Crazy how Kirby has closed that gap, isn’t it Gabe?
First round picks in last 4 years…. Bama 15 UGA 9
Stats can say just about anything you want them to say. Dumb@$$…
Not really Leg. UGA has been recruiting at a high level for years. Last year, because of players leaving early, transferring, and completing eligibility, Bama got caught with a deficit of experience. They were in the top ten least experienced teams in the country last season. It will happen to UGA, it is just a fact of our times. UGA will still play well and be a threat, just as Bama was, because of the talent on hand.
Lmfao….ever the staunch defender of the special needs brethren aren’t you Hump?
The only thing that showed in Indy was that Jawjuh needed our top two WRs to go down in order for that “all-world” defense to finally take control.
BTW…would you care to explain how a team who supposedly has more talent got absolutely trucked by 3 scores, or how Alabama has a higher average player rating per every recruiting outlet available over the last 6 years?
You are correct 8×5, partially.
UGa did indeed recruit well under Coach Richt, the issue was only in certain areas. Seldom did Richt have a team that could push anyone around for 4 quarters.
Kirby put an emphasis in the trenches, prioritizing OL and DL, front 7, on both sides of the ball, then working his way out to the “skilled” positions. He turned RBU into TEU-DLU-OLU-LBU. Now that he finally has UGa positioned to simply reload every year at those blue collar positions, life is pretty good, albeit I am cautiously guarded in what we’re getting with our “new” old Oline coach.
To your key point, you are right, experience and depth will be an on-going challenge, especially with the new chaos that is pay to play, the days of having 3s and 4s as strong as most team’s 1s and 2s are over, look no further than Bama this past season. My opinion is that Nick dropped the ball in developing his 3s and 4s last year, a mistake he surely won’t make again. That being said, with all the elite level talent he has signed the past few years being a NIL deal away from TP, will those 3s and 4s be as strong as they used to be in the good ol’ days of “you signed with us-you’re stuck with us” football? Obviously the answer is no, therefore the best teams will be the ones with the best medical staffs and best practice squad development, in that order. Cheers 8×5…
“BTW…would you care to explain how a team who supposedly has more talent got absolutely trucked by 3 scores”
I will humor you one more time, Gabe, and then that’s it…Kirby suckered Nick in game 1 knowing full well UGa was locked in for the CFPs win-lose-draw, vanilla offense, spring game defense, and the intelligence to know that sometimes to win the war one must concede a small meaningless battle. Congrats on your small meaningless battle victory, that SEC trophy will look good in the trophy case with those 27 Natties…
Leg. Saban has made us forget about the 1992-2008 dry spell. Now that was 16 years. Not 41 years. Big difference Leg. Plus Saban winning 6 NCs at Alabama is kind of a big deal. Don’t you think so Leg?
Georgia beat every team it faced last year. No other college football team including Alabama can say that. That makes us national champions. The biggest win in sports since Tiger won the masters in Augusta.
Georgia was 1-1 vs Bama last year.
The biggest win in sports history is the 1980 American Olympic hockey team beating the overwhelming favorite Russians. You need to take off those UGA colored glasses since your selection is no where close to the best.
I’d go with the Miracle on Ice as well.
It was Georgias biggest win in 41 years. At Alabama we have never experienced that as fans. Saban wins a lot. Wins often. 41 years is a awful long dry spell. Georgia fans have a right to be all giddy. 41 years worth.
We had the Braves, a College World Series and the Olympics locally. There are other goings on in UGA’s neighborhood. I guess there is some minor league baseball and maybe the USFL in Bama’s
1980 to 2008 was a long time to go with only one, Luvda.
sds1967, to dougs credit he did say biggest win “since Tiger won the Masters”…not sure which victory of Tiger’s he is talking about since he has had many since 1997 but clearly within the confines of Tiger victories I would have to go with 2000-1 underdawg Rulon Gardner in the 2000 Olympics…and in context Rulon’s win was probably even bigger than the Miracle on Ice as the American team was listed as only a 1000-1 underdawg…from the Humpy Bet You Did Not Know That file, you’re welcome.
Kirk. I was commenting on college football. Everything I posted is 100% true. Georgia should celebrate. 41 years is very long time. So just acknowledge what I posted is completely true. Then we can add in your filler comments. This was and is a college football post.
Let Georgia fans enjoy their NC. A 41 year stint is very hard on a fan base. They should be all giddy and slobbering about.
The hilarity of Gabriel RollCriedRoll tears early in the morning! HAHAHA! #1 on this list should be the Roll Cried will not score any passing tds all season since Gabe RollCriedRoll here states that it is impossible to win a game without Williams & Metchie. 2 WRs… The most interchangeable part of any offense… Still living in denial. Ignoring the fact that Roll Cried had exactly 0 tds with Williams in the game. Guess you didn’t take my AA (AlabamaRollCried Anonymous) advice and admit you have a problem. It’ll be ok little fella. You should be able to sit down soon after that butt whoopin’. 33-18* (Should have been 12, but Roll Cried was gifted a mercy td by the officials)
You post a lot like Negan.
doug…Losing all that defensive talent to the NFL cannot be corrected overnight & the reality that the Dawgs will step back a bit in 2022 is a reality. This is Kirby’s first year in trying to “reload” a defense and it will take some time and moving some guys around to find that right group of players on the D-side. Enthusiasm is great but Reality must be faced. That red Kool Aid is dripping off your chin.
You do realize that you’re attempting to talk reasonably with a troll who doesn’t really believe anything he’s saying….right? He’s just a self loathing Alabama hater who knows every word he just posted is a crock of chit.
Jawjuh isn’t better than Alabama at any position other than maybe O line at the moment, and if you look at the statistics from 2021, their “generational” defense wasn’t a whole lot better than Alabama’s in any area other than PPG.
Here’s a nickles worth of free advice….nothing that reject from the special needs class says should be met with anything other than mockery
And TE….Jawjuh is better at TE
I was right there with you until your last comment about the special needs class. I have a special needs grandson and this went to far.
Duly noted. You might just want to avoid reading anything else I post from here on out, as I simply do not care if you’re offended by it. Frankly…I find that a great deal of what’s wrong with America these days is due to alot of people’s inability to cope with someone saying something they deem “offensive”.
And it was a joke bruh
“inability to cope”
Funny how you have no problem identifying other people’s inability to cope, yet you obviously have not gotten over Bama losing to UGA. Also, while I do actually agree with you that in general our society is too sensitive, your response to redsox2004 and your own bullheaded comment paints you as a pretty big jerk.
doug is waiting for Negan so they can have their daily circle jerk with their mothers!
Bama had one of its worst O-lines under Saban last year and Bryce was still able to cook opponents game after game. I expect the O-line to take a few games to gel but overall they’ll be better under new coach Eric Wolford.
They were D@mn sure the worst coached O-line.
Thanks Jeff, terrific and detailed take. Seems like the big issue is if and when the OL ‘comes together?”
Regarding Coach Saban’s suggestion that CFB needs more parity I don’t see this happening without a pay-for-play Super League (32 schools each ‘adopted’ by an NFL team?) and a high school draft in inverse order of finish as we see in the NFL.
I wonder how Bama fans view Saban’s remarks? I do think that a Super CFB League is inevitable.
duck…Coach Saban was discussing the benefits that a SEC school can give the players…lodging, food, medical, etc. not the Pay-for-Play NIL aspect. College football has not ever had “parity” in terms of schools and will not ever have parity. College football thrives because of the Alabamas, Georgias, Floridas, Oklahomas, Ohio States, Michigans, Southern Cals, Notre Dames…all National-Brands, not because of the Appy States.
Thanks for the excellent reply. But I believe he did voice concerns over NIL being used as a recruiting tool?
Uh….the entire article is rife with mistakes bruh.
Tell me you know nothing about Alabama without telling me you know nothing about Alabama.
Oh no… Not the “Bruh”…. Must be hard to speak like an intelligent adult while sobbing there little Gabby RollCried. 33-18*(should have been 12, but BruhRollCried was gifted a mercy td by the officials)
I really wish SDS had writers that actually knew something about the teams they’re writing about.
“Tackle JC Latham and guard Emil Ekiyor have the most experience returning”
Latham has yet to even start a game, while Cohen started all 15 games last year, Dalcourt started 12 games, and McLaughlin started 3 postseason games.
While still shockingly bad, the O line allowed 42 sacks last year….not 57. The 57 sacks were logged by the defense.
The more I read the “journalism” found on this site, the more it resembles the rambling, incoherent nonsense of Neegin and Doog.
Well I’m much more confident in Bama this year & one of this biggest reasons is they didn’t win a championship last year..this team should be hungry & playing for respect..as for the dawgs they got over a few humps last year like beating Bama,winning the title..so they not gonna be quite as hungry this year..Stetson no longer trying to prove himself & all…hunger & fighting for respect 2 key ingredients for a championship team..Georgia players may be a little satisfied this year but Bama’s player’s aren’t..I feeling a very good year for the Tide
Against UGA in the SECCG Bryce Young passed for 421 yards and 3 TDs even though he lost Metchie. In the CFPCG he passed for 369 yards and 1 TD even though he lost Williams. If he can pass for that many yards, against that great a defense, losing his top two targets, I think he will probably do well enough this season to meet team and individual goals.
HAHAHAHAHA!. Ok… I guess you get points off of passing yds. Congrats on the stats. Oh how the “mighty” roll cried have fallen! The “but, but, but” game is in full effect! HAHAHAHA! 33-12*(should have been 12, but ButButButWhimpyWhimpyWhimpyRollCried was gifted a mercy td by the officials)
“The Georgia transfer (Burton) who led the Bulldogs in receptions the past 3 years”
Burton has only played two seasons. Brock Bowers had more catches in 2021 than Burton had in his CAREER at Georgia.
If that prediction of another UGA-Bama NCG materializes, the collective CFB heads outside of the SEC will explode.
I’d like to see that. Let’s do it.
BUT THE INJURIES!!!
I support you folks enjoying the Ga NC. 41 years is a long time. Lots of trapped feelings and frustration have to be released. I support the Ga fans doing this. At Alabama we have no idea what 41 years must feel like. We have never been subjected to 41 years of disappointment and frustration. Alabama fans have truly been spoiled by the Dynasty Saban has built.
It wasn’t as bad as you’d have thought. We had a CWS title and the local MLB team winning a couple of World Series as well as an Olympic Games to kind of fill the gap.
Kirk I am a Braves fan also. Have been for years. I went to high school in Georgia. I was focusing on Football. There is no comparison between Alabama and Georgia. Alabama has the better teams by far. Georgia has never had a dynasty in Football. Alabama has two with Bear Bryant and Nick Saban.
Here we go… You and little Gabby RollCriedRoll must call each other for moral support. Now UGA has the Roll Cried fans playing the “remember when” game like the Gators… HAHAHA! 33-18*(should have been 12, but RememberWhenRollCried was gifted a mercy td by the officials)
If only Metchie & Williams had remembered to pack their tampax for the NCG. Roll Cried maybe could have had a chance to possibly try and make an attempt to be in position to maybe score a non gifted td. 33-18*(should have been 12, but NoTampaxRollCried was gifted a mercy td by the officials)
As it has been for the last decade. 2 or 3 teams will be the ones to watch to win the NC. Alabama fans have become spoiled as the Tide is always in this group of elite teams. Clemson, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Georgia and Ohio State are also part of this group some years.
Notre dame? Hahahaha
Why is that any funnier than Oklahoma?
UGA will go as far as their QB and WRs can take them. Their defense will be just fine after a reload.
Bama will go as far as their OL will take them. They should have a good line but will it be enough in the big games.
Bama has Vandy as a crossover game and an easy OOC schedule but SECwest teams.
UGA has Ducks, SCAR Cucks, and Hail State to go with their SECeast schedule.
UGA TEs may end up being the difference.
I think you meant Aubie for UGA, since SC is in the East.
Been a minute since Bama’s played a true road game outside the conference. At Penn State early in Saban’s tenure? Texas might present a little more danger if this was week one. Being the second game, maybe not so much.
I just wanted something that rhymed with ducks. lol
Before anointing this offense take a look at the OC and his track record. Mediocre at best just saying.
The OC that was there last year?