October 9, 2007

The Zoom Lens: Kareem Jackson

Each week BamaOnLine.com subscribers choose the focus of The Zoom Lens, a weekly post-game analysis of a specific position. BOL staff reviews a tape of each game with a play-by-play eye on the position chosen by members. This week's poll results after Alabama's 30-24 win over Houston:

Kareem Jackson36.5 percent
Glen Coffee22.2 percent
Evan Cardwell17.4 percent
Prince Hall15.1 percent
Wallace Gilberry8.3 percent
Travis McCall0.4 percent

The subject: Starting CB Kareem Jackson,

Statistics: Eight tackles (five solo, three assists).

Observations: The first time Houston tested Jackson, it was standout receiver Donnie Avery trying to run by Jackson on a fly route on the Cougars' opening drive. Avery, whose speed is outstanding, couldn't even get a step on Jackson and the pass was overthrown. ... Avery tried a double move on Jackson on the following drive, but Jackson didn't bite and forced Houston QB Blake Joseph to a second read. ... He prevented a first down on a nice tackle in zone coverage of Cougars receiver Jeron Harvey early in the third quarter. ... Jackson gave up a first-down catch on an out route to Harvey on a fourth-and-4 play in the third quarter. ... He was flagged for pass interference on a fade route to the endzone that gave UH a first down inside the UA 10, and later got a little lucky when he fell while covering a slant-in that would have gone for big yardage had it not been dropped.

Overview: It says plenty about Jackson that Nick Saban game-planned for Jackson to man the corner spot on visiting side of the field so that the nickel package could be subbed in and out more easily. Against a no-huddle offense, that's as much trust in a freshman as you'll see. ... Covering either Harvey or Avery - UH's top two targets - almost exclusively, very little of Houston's passing yardage came directly at Jackson's expense. ... Jackson's aggressiveness as a tackler also stands out. He delivered a couple of big hits on Houston receivers Saturday and clearly enjoys the physical aspect of the position. ... Look for the freshman to hold down a starting corner spot for the duration of his UA career.

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