The Alabama Crimson Tide are the No. 1 team in the country and are fresh off a nice win over then-No. 6 ranked Texas A&M Aggies. Alabama now gets to face former offensive coordinator Jim McElwain who is the head man at Colorado State in what will be big step down in competition.
Nonetheless, things can happen but before we toss out any wild upset predictions -- no, stop it now -- it is time to get to know Alabama from the fine folks at Roll Bama Roll who are helping us out by answer a few key questions about this game.
Q: Will there be any type of hangover after such a big win over Texas A&M?
A: I think that is certainly possible. That was a game that the team had been focusing on for nearly a year, and I imagine a lot of emotion went into it. That being said, I'm not sure that a hangover would be that noticeable, given the talent gap between Bama and Colorado State..
Q: Is Alabama treating this game as a way to get some backups playing time, and get some kinks worked out?
A: Yeah, I'd say that is probably the plan. I think we have some new personnel packages (particularly in the secondary) that we would like to try out to see how guys go. This game should also be big for the true freshmen on the team. This is the fourth week in the season, but it is really the first "tune up" type game that Bama has had. This game will probably be a huge indicator for who will redshirt and who will contribute this year. If a player doesn't see the fieldSaturday, he almost certainly won't be playing this fall.
Q: Colorado State has a solid running game with Donnell Alexander, Chris Nwoke and Kapri Bibbs, so how good is Alabama's defense at stopping the run?
A: Pretty good. If not for the long run allowed against Virginia Tech, they wouldn't have broken 100 yards. I would be shocked if Colorado State does. In fact, if the Rams manage 70 yards on the ground, they should consider it a really good day.
Q: There was talk about how Alabama's offensive line struggling, has that unit righted itself yet, and if not is this game to get things back on track?
A: The offensive line is definitely trending in the right direction. The first game, there was a ton of problems with communication and missed assignments. In the second game, the line seemed to clear almost all of that up, but did struggle with generating penalties. The focus for this game is getting the guys to put all of the pieces together and really start to gel.
Q: What weakness does Alabama have that Colorado State could possibly take advantage of?
The only possible weakness would be cornerback, but really that unit has performed well when not facing future first round receivers. So while I do think it is a relative weakness, I would probably be surprised if the Rams were able to actually capitalize on that.
Q: Is Nick Saban going to take it easy against his Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain who is his former offensive coordinator?
I don't know that "take it easy" is the right way to put it, but I think Saban is certainly disinclined to run up the score.
Q: Is there any way that Colorado State can shock Alabama, if so what has to happen for Alabama to struggle.
Uh... no. Not really. That's not really a slight on Colorado State, it's just that these two teams operate on completely different planes.
Q: How does this game turn out, and can Alabama cover the 39.5-point spread?
I wouldn't be surprised to see Bama cover. I think the defense still has a lot to prove/work out, and will get more playing time than the starting offense. I think the line is just about right, with a final score of 45-7.
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