5 areas Alabama must improve on during the bye week

Alabama’s bye week has finally arrived and the coaches, players, and fans alike can finally take a deep breath and somewhat relax over the next few days.

Obviously, the Crimson Tide is not exactly where they would like to be after suffering a loss to Tennessee, but every goal is still attainable for head coach Nick Saban and Alabama.

Things will not get any easier for Alabama following the bye week either.

The Crimson Tide will make back-to-back road trips to top-20 schools. First to Baton Rouge to take on LSU and then to Oxford to take on Ole Miss.

Alabama will need to win out in order to hold on to the hopes of making another run at an SEC Championship and a birth in the College Football Playoff.

Here are five areas that the Crimson Tide must improve on during the bye week in order to make another postseason run.

1. Playmaking ability in the backend of the defense: As a team, Alabama has just three interceptions on the season and one of those came from outside linebacker Will Anderson. 

1. Playmaking ability in the backend of the defense: With talented offenses awaiting the Tide after the bye week, the backend of the defense will need to start making plays. The emergence of Eli Ricks may be just what the doctor ordered.

2. Develop depth at TE behind Cameron Latu: Outside of Cameron Latu, the tight end room is very limited in experience. Over the last few weeks freshman, Amari Niblack has started to see an increased number of snaps. 

2. Develop depth at TE behind Cameron Latu: The bye week could prove to be a critical stepping stone for Niblack and the Alabama offense as the Tide looks to continue to develop solid depth at that position.

3. Chemistry between Bryce Young and the wide receivers: Although Alabama’s offense is averaging 43 points per game, there are still areas that the Tide could improve on. 

3. Chemistry between Bryce Young and the wide receivers: Everyone knows that Bryce Young is arguable the best quarterback in the entire country, but his weapons on the outside have just not been consistent this season. 

3. Chemistry between Bryce Young and the wide receivers: Hopefully, the bye week will serve as an opportunity for Young and his receivers to continue to develop their chemistry. If they all get on the same page this offense could be special.

4. Get healthy: Alabama doesn’t have a ton of injuries, but there is no denying the impact that not having Justin Eboigbe to anchor the defensive line has had on the defense. 

4. Get healthy: In the four games that Eboigbe has played, Alabama’s opponents averaged 1.75 yards per rush. In the four games since Eboigbe’s injury, opponents have averaged 3.4 yards per rush. 

4. Get healthy: Having a healthy Eboige after the bye week will be critical. Also, other defensive linemen such as DJ Dale and Jaheim Oatis should be back.

5. Discipline: Look, we can all rightfully complain about the state of college officiating all we want, but the powers that be obviously do not care that they are the laughingstock of college football.

5. Discipline: But regardless of how bad the officiating is, Alabama simply has to play with more discipline. Pre-snap penalties are just a lack of focus and discipline.

5. Discipline: Alabama needs to use this bye week to hit the reset button and play with the focus and discipline that we know they are capable of.

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