As Alabama put together a series of one-sided wins, they began to accumulate playing time in the third and fourth quarters. Running mostly the read or zone option – an offensive set where the quarterback, Blake Sims, takes a shotgun snap and reads the linebackers to decide whether to keep the ball or hand off to Kenyan Drake, his running back mate – they have discovered a rhythm that gives defenses something different to consider.
Saturday’s fourth quarter presented yet another series of opportunities for Alabama’s duo of backup quarterbacks, Blake Sims and Phillip Ely. Both, in their own way, made the most of them. Sims took over for AJ McCarron, who went out with a minor back contusion, to start the fourth quarter. He received the majority of snaps behind center and finished with three carries for 19 yards. He did not attempt a pass, but was the game manager throughout a late scoring drive that saw freshman running back Kenyan Drake score his fifth touchdown of the season.
Redshirt freshman Phillip Ely is listed as Alabama’s backup quarterback on the team’s official depth chart, but the competition remains ongoing, coach Nick Saban said today.