Alabama football is incredibly good this season, but the team is far from perfect.
Nick Saban's squad had maybe its most disappointing half of football against what is, on paper, its weakest opponent of the season. The Crimson Tide went to the half against The Citadel tied 10-10, and were a missed field goal from being down 13-10.
Alabama wound up cruising to a victory, but it was a half that Saban could certainly use to motivate his team, in case it was resting on its laurels.
Overall, it is hard to knock Alabama's offensive performance, and the defense has taken major steps forward since the beginning of the season. There is one area of the game that Alabama has really struggled in this year, and a number of times in the past.
On Monday, Nick Saban said that Alabama football's results in the kicking game are "not really acceptable" to him or his players.
"We've had some issues in that regard, no doubt. I think at times we've got to improve in all areas -- snap, hold, consistency in kick. To me, being a kicker is -- and I've said this before and used this analogy before -- a lot like playing golf. You have to technically be able to count on 3-4 benchmarks of things that are going to help you be consistent with what you do and minimize bad contact. We have not gotten Joe (Bulovas) to where we're comfortable and he's comfortable with that. We're going to keep working on it, no doubt, but it's not really acceptable to me, to be honest with you, from anyone's standpoint -- his standpoint, our standpoint. And we're going to work really, really hard to get it fixed. If there's someone else on our team that we feel we can do it better, the possibility exists that we'll do that, whether it's snapper, holder or kicker."
Alabama kickers are 12-of-17 on the season. More disconcertingly, Crimson Tide kickers have converted just 64-of-72 extra points, which comes in at less than 90-percent for the year.
Austin Jones, who took more attempts earlier in the year, is just 8-for-11 on extra points. Bulovas missed two extra points against The Citadel, as well as against LSU.
While those two games wound up being blowouts, in a potential game against Clemson, or another team that could close the gap with Alabama, the Crimson Tide cannot afford to leave those points on the board.