Who’s Afraid Of What The Tide Is Going To Do Next?
Arkansas State (1-0,0-0 Sun Belt) @ #1 Alabama (1-0,0-0 SEC)
Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo
Cover Photo Courtesy Of : Alabama Football
TUSCALOOSA,ALA– While I know some folks are still not quite sure if Nicky Saban and his Tide are really going to go for a three peat this season even after a dominating performance on the road against Louisville. I hate to burst their bubble but anyone thinking that those lingering questions were going to go unanswered for more than one ball game had another thing coming after week 1.
On a side note like the saying goes if your not prepared to take the heat then don’t stand in the damn kitchen. I figured I better address the whole Saban snap so we can’t put it to rest. For those of us who have covered Saban over the years we know when it comes to certain questions especially ones that are redundant expect him to have some sort of sarcastic or not forthcoming answer. He did apologize but in all honestly a vet or rookie media member asking that question over and over after he has addressed it more than a handful of times what do you expect ?
So let’s get back to football now. After week 1 here is how things are shaping up for the Crimson heading into week 2.
Sat. Sept. 8th ,2018
Kick-Off: 2:30 PM CT
Venue:Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
The Tide head into week 2 still at the head of the college football table sitting strong at #1 after a commanding the gridiron in the season opener. ( Either way it’s still too early in the season folks but I still be paying close attention to what Saban and his club have in store). Nicky Saban and his boys open their home season in an early kick-off today against the Red Wolves of Arkansas State.From the looks of things it shouldn’t be tough to for the Tide to take over this game early on.
However, don’t think for a minute that their going to ease up and coast against any opponent this season ranked or not because the moment they put their guard down all hell may just break loose for them. The Tide showed they are going to do it their way on the ball field and their is no room for error. You can expect for them to utilize this match-up as another means to strengthen and solidifying their new dueling duo of QBs and feed their young and hungry defense.
Blake Anderson and his pack are coming into town today in hopes that third time could be the charm against Nicky Saban and the Crimson Tide today (Talk about one hell of an upset that would surely turn the Tide in Tuscaloosa. Laugh now but even such an anomaly is always possible on any given Saturday). Naturally, the Crimson Tide are 3-0 in this match-up since their last meeting 10 years ago in a Homecoming victory 35-0 at Legion Field in Birmingham. Never underestimate the underdog especially if you have a kid like Justice Hansen leading the way on the offense. Hansen’s name probably rings a bell for those fans in the Big 12. You may recognize his as the understudy to Baker Mayfield! Hansen started his college career at Oklahoma but now anchors the Red Wolves offense which ranks 10th nationally in total offense. So expect this to turn in to a speed race that will be even more of a test for Tosh Lupoi and and his stout Alabama Defense.
Keys For Alabama
Keep Your Eye Open
The Ball: Blake Anderson has a knack for the offense especially when you have a talented gunslinger like Hansen helping lead the way. Like I said Lupoi and the Alabama D will be tested even more so this week . You can expect that the Red Wolves are going to come out with a fast paced giving a new term to “Rammer Jammer” in Tuscaloosa so the boys from Bama are going to need to stay on their toes today. This offense poses more of a challenge for the Tides Defense front and secondary than the Cards did in Orlando which isn’t a bad thing. The Tide may be strong and stout but they still need to make sure they can operate as one with these new boys on their defensive front line.
The Dual Threat
Leave it to Saban to start a trend this season. Every program hopes to be able to have a true QB that is multi faceted on their side. But of course being who they are Alabama wasn’t going to stop there and is bringing a whole new meaning to dual threat QB. This has been at the center of controversy and question for sometime but Saban could care less what anyone’s opinion is on what he does with his ball club. Saban knows to go all the way even for the best of ball clubs you have to bring something new to the table each time and that’s what he did by enlisting a Dual QB system for the Crimson as of now. Most teams are uneasy with a multi QB system because rarely do you have the personnel to adapt , translate and produce results from more than one signal caller from game to game much less from play to play. However, in Saban fashion we all know he wouldn’t be taking this risk if he hadn’t already known it work out in his favor. As the saying goes “Fortune favors the bold!” So look for yet another opportunity to strengthen Tuo and Hurts ability on the field.
Keys For Arkansas
Keeping up in Tuscaloosa
I can’t stress it enough never underestimate the little guy. While I don’t see the Red Wolves coming out of this one the victors doesn’t mean there is still not a threat and test posed today in Tuscaloosa. A-State needs to find ways to keep their offense coming on full forces. Hansed spread scheme will test the Alabama Defense so they need to find ways to balance the right mix of pace and control to move quickly into the red zone and keep finding ways to put points on the board early on. No teams wants to play catch up against this team. If there ever was a need for speed it is going to be in this match-up
Divide & Conquer
Even with two strong QBs like Tua and Hurts there is still a way to shake up things even with this Tide offense. The offense is all the \rage for the Red Wolves but it will be the A-State that could make the difference in today’s ball game. Plain and simple if the Red Wolves can find a way to cause even a the slightest division and disruption to these dueling QBs and Alabama Offense then they just might find a way to stay in the game longer than expected. While this may be a solid operation put forth by the Alabama Offense it is by no means unstoppable so early in the season especially only in the second week of operation coming of a team like Louisville. There is still a great deal of room to expose the weakness even for a team like Alabama so take advantage of that today Red Wolves.
For a ball club like at Alabama every match-up is going to be a test in some form or fashion in you want to remain on that glory road for an entire season. No matter where you stand and how solid you think your ball club is nothing is guaranteed and sure as hell won’t be handed to you. Every game is a test but I think Saban and his ball club understand that or they wouldn’t be looking for unlikely ways to continue to demonstrate why they can get back to main stage time and time again.
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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a Senior Editor and writer for Main Event Sports. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist, NFL Network content writer, and Brown University graduate. She loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ Misskyus2011