Bama – Ga. Southern: Pre-Game Thoughts
Alabama obviously heads into Saturday’s game against Georgia Southern as the favorite and unless there’s an App State-type take-down, the Tide should win by a rather large margin.
So what is to be gained by playing a team like this? Well, again it’s obvious that we want win number 10 on the year. That’s why we scheduled the Eagles – to beat them. And if everything works out the way we hope, we can essentially have a second bye week; this one coming just before the Auburn game. That’s the plan and, hopefully, there will be no detours.
Is there anything else we can hope to glean from this game? A couple of things, I think:
** We can hopefully get our quarterback and wide outs back online and in sync. AJ McCarron played well against Tennessee, essentially carrying the team, but got a bit off-track the next week against LSU. Hey, that’s easy to do. Unfortunately, there wasn’t the bounce-back we hoped for against Mississippi State. So definitely look for the Tide to air the ball out against the Eagles. It’s a way to keep the offense aggressive and the passing game needs a tuneup before Auburn.
** It would also be nice for Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy, along with the starters on the offensive line, to be able to take the second half off. Trent comes into this game relatively unscathed, which is incredible for the 11th game of the season, and hopefully there will be need for the Tide to wear him out in this one. There’s no need to pad the stats, either. It’s Georgia Southern and he’ll get no credit for whatever he does. Given Lacy’s toe injury, don’t expect him to carry the ball more than 7-10 times.
** Nick Saban would also love to rest his defensive starters for most of the game, as well. For that to happen, the Tide will need to figure out the Eagles’ triple option attack quickly and build a good lead.
** The Tide defense gives up 7.1 points per game. Can they hold the Eagles below this? The Tide could actually give up more points this week, especially if the reserves play a lot versus this option attack.
** Hey a field goal or two wouldn’t hurt, either. Cade Foster and Jeremy Shelley should be able to use this game to get their mojo back as well. If not, we may need tryouts before the Iron Bowl.
** Barrett Jones could use a breather, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jones doesn’t dress for the game. Similar to last year, Jones has been hobbled with injuries and there’s not much doubt that his absence from the Auburn game last year was one of the deciding factors. Jones needs to get well and skipping Saturday should help with that.