TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- With race cars in wide receivers Amari Cooper and DeAndrew White and action figures in running backs T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry, Alabama fullback Jalston Fowler said offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is having fun playing with all the toys he has.
And which toy if Fowler?
"I'm the big dump truck," Fowler said with a smile.
That's fitting seeing as how Fowler does the dirty work like block and pick up tough yards on carries up the middle. Fowler said Kiffin is "just letting me show my versatility."
Kiffin has found a way to showcase all of Alabama's playmakers which has the Tide's offense producing as at a record pace.
He'll lead the Tide's offense into the SEC championship game versus Missouri on Saturday.
The Tide ranks 16th nationally in total offense, averaging a school-record 489.3 yards per game. The Tide's 282.6 passing yards per game is also the most in school annals.
All of the aforementioned information has Kiffin as one of five finalists for the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation's top assistant coach.
While most coaches are stoic on the sideline, Tide wide receiver DeAndrew White said Kiffin's brings a lot of personality and energy during the games.
"Coach Kiffin goes with the game, with the flow," White said. "He has fun with us on the sideline and makes adjustments when we need to make adjustments. When he calls a play, he expects a touchdown on each play he calls."
Kiffin's biggest show of confidence came in the Tide's 55-44 Iron Bowl win last Saturday. In the third quarter, Kiffin noticed Cooper was being single covered and celebrated by throwing up the touchdown signal before quarterback Blake Sims even finished his drop and threw the ball. The play resulted in a touchdown. The video went viral.
"He brings a lot of energy," Tide center Ryan Kelly said. "I think that little thing (of him celebrating) on Vine that's been going viral, he's so excited. He's a great offensive mastermind. I think that's why he was so excited. He knew it was going to work. He's got all the confidence in all 11 guys he has out there on offense.
"To play for a guy like that, it's great. It builds momentum for the offense the entire game."
While Alabama's offense is breaking records, Kiffin's two biggest accomplishments will be how he helped Sims improve as a quarterback and how he has showcased Cooper.
Kiffin took Sims, a former running back/defensive back, and turned him into one of the nation's most efficient quarterbacks, ranking second nationally in total QBR (87.9) and seventh nationally (first in the SEC) in passing efficiency at 159.5.
Sims has thrown for 2,988 yards and 24 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. He's also added 302 rushing yards and six scores on the ground.
As for Cooper, he's shown the talent since his freshman season. But Kiffin's knock for moving Cooper all over the field has helped Cooper rewrite the Alabama record books. On the year, Cooper has 103 receptions for 1,573 yards and 14 touchdowns -- all school records.
"I have to give a lot of credit to coach Kiffin," Cooper said of his success. "He's a great offensive coordinator and he draws up plays to make sure his playmakers are in position to make plays."
-- Contact Anniston Star Sports Writer Marq Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org