Rushing offense — A
The Crimson Tide offense was nearly unstoppable until lightning did what Missouri could not. When Alabama returned from a 38-minute stoppage of play, it took a little while to reignite the engine but it’s hard to complain about the results. Against a stunting defensive front that was geared to stop the run for most of the afternoon, the Tide averaged 7.7 yards per carry. Eddie Lacy (177 yards) and T.J. Yeldon (144 yards) provided a one-two punch that resulted in five touchdowns and Kenyan Drake added the sixth, accounting for every Tide score via the rush.
Rushing defense — A
If Missouri had a rushing attack, you’d never know it. Certainly, the Tigers’ rushing strategy changes dramatically with the loss of starting quarterback James Franklin, who sprained his left knee last week, but Missouri was rarely ever a threat to pick up a first down by rushing the ball despite Alabama’s defensive scheme that often focused on the pass. The Tigers picked up just two first downs on the ground and finished with 3 rushing yards.
Passing offense — B
Nobody gets an A when they’re battling torrential rain and 25 mile-per-hour winds, but Alabama was effective early. After the lightning delay, however, Alabama’s passing attack became almost non-existent. Some of that was attributed to a coaching strategy to run a more conservative risk-free offense, but the Tide became very predictable through most of the final three quarters. After completing 7 of 8 passes for 105 yards before the delay, McCarron was 9 of 13 after the break but for just 66 yards.
Passing defense — A
The Tigers were behind quick, which changed the Missouri offensive strategy to more of a passing attack, but it rarely materialized against the Crimson Tide defense. Corbin Berkstresser was intercepted twice, sacked three times and harassed constantly by the Tide defenders, forcing him to rush several throws and never allowing the redshirt freshman to get in any kind of rhythm.
Special teams — C
If you chart this game by the lightning delay, you’d give Alabama two distinctly different grades. Before the delay, Alabama had contained the elusive Marcus Murphy and converted every special teams opportunity into points or a positive play. After the delay, they earned an ‘F’ by allowing Murphy to break through the middle on a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and set up another scoring opportunity when Tide punter Cody Mandell dropped a snap from center for a 17-yard loss.
Coaching — B
The first quarter might have been Alabama’s finest of the year. The players were focused despite a tendency to be overconfident after Missouri’s loss to Vanderbilt last week. The coaches had the right strategy to attack Missouri’s tricky defensive front and contain the Tigers’ wide-open offensive style. A lightning delay with the Tide up 27-0 presented all the problems you would expect and the players were not focused when they returned from the 40-minute delay.
Overall — B+
It’s difficult to find fault with a team that didn’t surrender an offensive touchdown all day. There was one costly breakdown (on Murphy’s kickoff return for a touchdown) but the offense performed admirably considering the weather conditions and the defense did its job by keeping the Tigers’ offense out of the end zone. Considering the weather and the stakes for Missouri after an 0-3 conference start, it was an impressive performance.