Top Questions Facing the Crimson Tide This Week
The Alabama Crimson Tide host the Kentucky Wildcats this Saturday after two weeks off. Alabama has started the season on a six-game winning streak and will finish the year with three or four more games, depending on the SEC rescheduling the game. What are the top three questions facing the Crimson Tide as the Wildcats come to town?
1. Can Mac Jones lead the offense against the SEC's best pass defense?
The Kentucky Wildcats have allowed the fewest passing yards per game in the conference only surrendering 214 yards per game through seven games. Mac Jones has been on fire this season and is one of the leading candidates for the Heisman trophy. Jones has passed the ball for 366 yards per game this season and topped the 400-yard barrier in half of his starts this season.
Will Jones be able to start the game quickly against the stingy Wildcat pass defense? Can Jones utilize DeVonta Smith and John Metchie to keep this defense on it its toes like his did in the first six games of the season? No one has slowed Jones down this season, and if he can start quickly on Saturday against a quality defense he can show that he's ready to light up the second half of his season.
2. How will the defense respond to its shutout against Mississippi State?
The Alabama defense has been steadily improving throughout the season and is now fifth overall in yards given up per game. The last time the Crimson Tide defense was on the field they held Mississippi State to zero points, the first Alabama shutout in two years.
Kentucky's offense is last in the conference in yards per game but second in the conference in rushing yards per game. The Wildcats like to run the ball to grind out possessions and keep opposing offenses off the field. Kentucky is led by running back Chris Rodriguez who's rushed for 562 yards and six touchdowns in seven games this seasons.
Will the Crimson Tide defense continue to build off previous performances? Can they continue to improve on 3rd down defense?
Alabama will get back redshirt junior defensive lineman LaBryan Ray after he's recovered from an elbow injury. The defense could also see JUCO transfer Ronald Williams get his first action of the season after breaking his arm in fall camp. These additions should help the Crimson Tide defense take strides and hold the Kentucky offense to minimal gains.
3. Who will fill the role of Trey Sanders?
Running back Trey Sanders was just beginning to carve out a role in this Alabama offense when his season was derailed by a car accident. Sanders has been seen on social media in a wheelchair in the locker room. Who stands to fill the production he gave the team prior to his injury?
Could it mean more Najee Harris or Brian Robinson? The two running backs are the top producers for the Tide, rushing for 714 and 208 yards respectively.
Or perhaps it will mean one of the true freshman running backs will get a chance in the spotlight?
From Hueytown, Alabama, Roydell Williams has already gotten two carries this season in very minimal action against Tennessee.
From Aledo, Texas, Jase McClellan has yet to play running back this year but has played special teams in all six games so far.
What is your top question facing the Crimson Tide this Saturday? Tune into Tide 100.9 for coverage of the game beginning on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. for "Tide Tailgate".