Thamel: Alabama Hasn't Been Tested

Pete Thamel doesn't think the Crimson Tide will lose this season, but he also wants to see how they respond to adversity

The DA Show
October 23, 2018 - 12:20 pm

USA Today Images


No. 1 Alabama (8-0) will face its toughest test of the season Nov. 3, when it travels to Baton Rouge to play No. 4 LSU (7-1). Pete Thamel, though, believes the Tide will come away with a victory.

Then again, Thamel thinks that about every Alabama game this season. 

“I don’t think anyone’s beating Alabama,” the Yahoo! Sports columnist said on The DA Show. “It’s hard to envision right now. Now look, Alabama hasn’t been tested. They haven’t had a 3rd-and-2 late in the third quarter in a one-score game that they’ve needed to convert. They just simply haven’t had tension at any point. So hopefully what this LSU game does is we get to learn a little bit about Alabama when it’s nut-cutting time. We haven’t seen that yet with this Alabama team.”

We haven’t had to. Alabama’s closest game was a 22-point win over Texas A&M on Sept. 22.

That’s what happens when quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completes 70.4 percent of his passes for 2,066 yards, 25 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

“Tua’s been remarkable,” Thamel said. “But what’s he going to do when Grant Delpit or Greedy Williams comes on a corner blitz and gets in his grill? How’s he going to react when he gets hit? His numbers, his efficiency – he may be having the best season of any quarterback since I started covering national colleges in the last 15 years. It’s remarkable. But that said, he hasn’t truly been tested in a tense situation.”

Thamel, admittedly, had some doubts about Tagovailoa coming into the season. Everyone remembered him for his game-winning touchdown throw to beat Georgia in overtime and win the national championship, but he made some freshman mistakes that night.

“He didn’t play great in that game,” Thamel said. “He took a terrible sack – he was a young quarterback. Obviously it ended up working out, but I was a little skeptical coming in because I had seen this very small body of work in front of us – and it wasn’t perfect. But he’s pretty much been perfect this year. Let’s fast-forward to Nov. 3 and see what LSU has for them in Baton Rouge."