Prediction: Do I have to say it? Ole Miss.
Alabama vs. San Jose State
- Have you heard defending National Champion Alabama returns only two defensive starters?
- San Jose St. ranked #118 in total offense (out of 120) last year and returns 9 starters from that mighty squad
Keys To The Game:
Alabama's defense is filled with top-level recruits coached by Nick Saban, the only coach to win BCS Championships at two different schools, and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who was named outstanding assistant coach of the year last year. At some point their inexperience will be tested and possibly exploited. It won't be this week.
The main objective for Alabama this week is to rotate some guys, get them some live game action, and avoid any serious injuries on either side of the ball. Unfortunately for the Tide, they've already been hit by a major injury in the form of Heisman Trophy-winning RB Mark Ingram. Ingram had arthroscopic surgery on his knee and while the team expects him to recovery fully and quickly, he won't be starting his Heisman defense campaign in Week 1. As great a player as Ingram is, RB is one position where Alabama is embarrassingly deep. There are many football fans and insiders who believe sophomore Trent Richardson is actually the best RB on the team. I disagree but Richardson is special and he's more than enough to handle San Jose State.
Prediction: Roll Tide Roll!
Arkansas vs. Tennessee Tech.
- Have you heard of Ryan Mallett, Arkansas' future NFL QB with the cannon arm?
- Arkansas ranked #58 in total defense last year and that stat is misleading as they gave up nearly a TD more per game against ranked opponents than non-ranked opponents.
Keys To The Game:
Arkansas is going to win big and they're going to score a ton of points without breaking a sweat. The only thing I want to see on offense from the Razorbacks is their running game. They didn't use theirs effectively last year and while Tenn. Tech is not going to provide stiff resistance, I'd like to see if head coach Bobby Petrino does anything to get the running game going early.
Defensively for the Razorbacks, Tech isn't good enough to put a scare into the Razorbacks. What we're looking for here is big plays from the defense and an attitude that despite the inferior competition, they will go out and dominate for 60 minutes and not do anything silly.
Prediction: Bet the over on this one because Arkansas can score enough for both teams.