Alabama held its first scrimmage of the fall on a day when teams across the Southeastern Conference held their first scrimmages.
The Crimson Tide offense had its moments in the scrimmage. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron was sharp, hitting 19-of-29 passes for 222 yards and one touchdown, which is a typical McCarron-type performance. The Tide junior quarterback’s performance picked right up where he left off in the BCS National Championship game although the stakes were not nearly as high as they were in January. He hit freshman Amari Cooper with a 6-yard touchdown pass.
“I thought we had a really good first scrimmage,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said when the scrimmage was over. “The goal of the scrimmage was to get a lot of players opportunities so that we could evaluate. There were a lot of good things out there today.”
“The ones on both sides of the ball did a decent job,” he said. “The first offense played pretty well but didn’t finish a couple drives. Eddie Lacy did a good job. He had limited reps. We only wanted him to have six or eight carries, and he had eight carries. AJ (McCarron) played pretty well. The first defense played decently.”
Lacy rolled up 57 yards on his eight carries and gave every indication that he is back to full strength and ready to take his place as the next great Alabama running back. He also caught five passes for 25 yards.
Lacy served his time as the backup to Trent Richardson, just as Richardson backed up Mark Ingram. The leading candidate to be Lacy’s backup is Jalston Fowler, who had seven carries for 34 yards and a touchdown. True freshman T.J. Yeldon had 24 yards and scored two touchdowns.
“There is certainly lots of room for improvement, but I think the most critical thing is to establish some depth,” Saban said. “We have such a young team. There are a lot of young players in those backup roles and how quickly we can get those guys to develop is going to be real critical.”
Alabama is preparing for a tough opening stretch. It faces Michigan in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX., in the season opener on Sept. 1. Two weeks later, the Crimson Tide will play Arkansas in Fayetteville.