Are You Ready For Some Football

14 11 2009

Once again were not talking about the NFL, were looking again at the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama. Tonight the Tide takes on the Bulldogs of Mississippi State in Starkville before a sold out crowd. Dan Mullen (the former offensive coordinator for Urban Meyer) took over the head coaching job for the bulldogs this year, bringing the Florida spread offense with him. Alabama player are hoping to use this game to help prepare them for the SEC Championship game since Florida is still running the same type offense (Just sub Anthony Dixon, Miss. St. Powerhouse back, with Tim Tebow). Don’t let this fool you. Alabama is still focusing hard on the Bulldogs. While they may not admit it openly, every player knows that one loss could cost them a shot at the National Championship. Typically against a spread type offense, Alabama head coach Nick Saben has used the nickel and dime packages, rather then the typical 3 – 4 defense he runs, meaning nose tackle Terrance Cody would spend time off field. With this game there are rumors of just leaving the big man Mt. Cody in the game. With the speculation between the coaches, look for Mississippi State to employ some offensive maneuvers slightly different from the playbook and some defensive line ups that have not been seen before from the Crimson Tide.

Miss St vs Alabama

Rolling around to my opinion of it all…. Alabama has had a bad habit of not playing on the national championship level that there team really is. The Tide has a tendency to bring their game down to the level of the team they are playing (see: Alabama vs. South Carolina and Alabama vs. Tennessee). I’m hoping that Alabama bring the running game with them. Mark Ingram is a fantastic back who can get the ball up field to move the chains. Quarterback Greg McElroy proved to be a lot better with the passing game last week but seemed to really be over throwing his target A LOT. If McElroy can settle down and make his assignments and the offensive line give him time to get his passes off, I think we stand to see a good passing game. If Mark Ingram can continue to get at least four yards a carry in combination with McElroy, I see no reason why Alabama could not cover the spread. Alabama has also had some issues in the red zone. (see past 3 games and you might see it) but fortunately we’ve had our field goal kicker Leigh Tiffin who has pretty much been a machine when it comes to getting the ball between the uprights (I got to give it to this kid, he has greatly improved since he first came on the scene choking at every important field goal attempted during the season). As long as Alabama plays their typical hard core defense and stops the run game, and the offense pulls together to move the ball down field and finishes in the red zone, Alabama should have no trouble beating the Bulldogs. The game will be at 7 ET/ 6 CT on ESPN.