Alabama Football Three Keys: UL Monroe


Was the one-point Week 2 win over Texas a blip, or is there something wrong with No. 2 Alabama this season? We might not learn much from this game against UL Monroe, but the Warhawks will have much more confidence going into this one than most Group of Five teams facing the Crimson Tide.

By Steve Wright

Here are the three keys to an Alabama Crimson Tide win:

Find Offensive Flow

The defense took care of things against Texas in the 20-19 win, but the offense is a work in progress. This is that game that ‘Bama needs, with the Warhawks losing 52-10 to the Longhorns earlier in the season.

The most worrying aspect of the offensive issues is that the struggles are coming everywhere. The running game isn’t creating holes for the backs, the wide receivers aren’t creating any separation in their routes, and the quarterback play is all that kept ‘Bama undefeated. It will get better – it always does under Nick Saban – but the worry will be there until it clicks.

Cut the Penalties in Half

You could feel the anger coming off Saban’s body as his Alabama side committed penalty after penalty against Texas. By the end of the game, the Crimson Tide had set a Saban-era record with 15 penalties called on them, with the issues again coming in all phases of the game.

Even seven penalties feels high for a team with the coaching and talent of Alabama. This is about small steps though, so cutting the penalties in half has to be the first step. If not, Saban might lose his mind.

No More Blown Coverages

The Alabama secondary has been the biggest issue on the defensive side of the ball. The unit looks more confused out there than you would expect as we enter Week 3, and Saban will know he has to figure out how to get his players to make the right reads – and communicate effectively – in a hurry.

This could be a decent test. ULM quarterback Chandler Rogers has an outrageous 77.3% completion mark through two games, and he has enough dual-threat about his to cause Alabama some issues if the pass rush isn’t working.

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