It’s Bama week, which means we get to respect the Tide with Roll Bama Roll’s Brent Taylor. Thanks to him for helping out and as always if you want to read more on them and their thoughts on the game go check out their work.
1. Now that the offense is rolling with Tua, is there seriously any cause for concern with this Alabama team? Or has Saban finally put together his final form of a death machine?
As of right now, this is absolutely the scariest Alabama squad the nation has had to deal with yet, though granted the schedule thus far has offered up little challenge other than Texas A&M.
That said, we Alabama fans have a professional degree in nitpicking tiny weaknesses. Here are the top complaints: Alabama still doesn’t have a kicker. It’s just funny at this point. We can’t even reliably hit a 20-yard field goal. Defensively, there is very very little useful depth behind the starting linebackers and defensive backs. As long as the starters stay healthy, we’ll be good... but the back ups have really struggled against the 2nd team offenses of teams like Louisiana Lafayette.
2. With how easily Alabama has rolled through this schedule so far, is there any concern of complacency? Not necessarily in this one but down the road?
With the amount of media attention we’ve gotten, I’d say that it could be a concern. Saban is used to having to combat complacency every year though, so I have to assume he knows what he’s doing. Tua did mention in an interview this week that the offense is scoring so fast so often that many of the players are starting to try to make the big play every time rather than sustain drives, and that leads to complacency in itself.
3. Aside from Tua, who are some new starters that have emerged here in the first half of the season?
Pretty much the whole defense.
Safety Deionte Thompson has been a revelation, and looking like he may be our best pure deep safety since HaHa Clinton-Dix. Cornerback Trevon Diggs opened 2017 as a starter and got repeated burned and subsequently benched. So we were leary about him getting that shot again this year, but he’a been stellar so far this time around.
4. The defense has nine interceptions on the year, is forcing turnovers a big part of the defense this year or has it just been taking advantage of opponents mistakes?
Some of both, I’d say. Thompson has been an absolutely ball hawk, patrolling the deep third of the field. A lot of the other picks have come from errant throws. As with all turnovers, they’re mostly luck, but good players make their own luck, as the saying goes.
5. How are your special teams and how many returns for touchdowns will they get this weekend?
Ha, well, the kicking game is shakier than ever, and the freshman punter has been good at pinning teams in the red zone on short fields, but has really had some quackers when trying to punt it far. But the coverage teams have been solid, and freshman Jaylen Waddle has been about as electric as you e ever seen as a return man.
6. And finally, what’s your score prediction?
I’m gonna say 49-13.