Alabama faces New Mexico State on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Here are your three keys to an Alabama win over New Mexico State.
By Steve Wright
Alabama snoozed through 30 minutes against Duke before turning it on in the second half for a 42-3 win. New Mexico State opened up by being blasted 58-7 at the hands of Washington State’s Air Raid offense. This one could get ugly.
Key 1 – Play shutdown defense
Alabama opened as a 54.5 point favorite against New Mexico State for this game with the line setters in Las Vegas. That is an absurd number that shows the gulf in class between the two teams. While the offense will have its work cut out to score 55 points, it will be interesting to see how the defense plays after allowing just a single field goal against the Blue Devils last Saturday.
Key 2 – Get the running game going
The running game – that staple of Alabama’s offensive identity – simply didn’t work against Duke. The Alabama offense in 2019 is so high powered through the air that opposing defenses should be susceptible to any kind of rushing attack Alabama puts out there as they struggle to cover the pass. If you take out the 37-yard Jerome Ford touchdown on the Crimson Tide’s final true offensive play then the stats from a week ago are just bad.
31 Carries – 91 Yards – 2.9 Yards per Carry
The rushing attack has to be better and with Najee Harris and Brian Robinson back in the lineup at running back the pieces are there for it to work properly this weekend.
Key 3 – Get through unhurt
This is one of those games that is about fine-tuning and surviving. Alabama is obviously loaded this season, but that ability to win games diminishes as soon as a couple of key players pick up knocks. Nick Saban needs to get the likes of Tua Tagovailoa and Jerry Jeudy their work in, and then get them out of the game shortly into the third quarter. There will be no need to take risks on star players still being in the game any later than that.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 3:00 PM CT (4:00 PM ET). Watch on the SEC network.
SEC Football Stories For This Week
|Game||First Looks||3 Keys|
|W. Virginia vs. Missouri||W. Virginia||Mizzou||Preview||Mizzou 38, WVA 7||Stats|
|C. Southern vs. S. Carolina||C. Southern||USC||Preview||USC 72, CSU 10||Stats|
|Tulane vs. Auburn||Tulane||Auburn||Preview||Auburn 24, Tulane 6||Stats|
|N. Mexico St vs. Alabama||NMSU||Bama||Preview||Alabama 62, NMSU 10||Stats|
|USM vs. Mississippi St.||Southern Miss||MSU||Preview||MSU 38, USM 15||Stats|
|Texas A&M vs. Clemson||Clemson||Texas A&M||Preview||Clemson 24, A&M 10||Stats|
|E. Michigan vs. Kentucky||E. Michigan||Kentucky||Preview||UK 38, E Michigan 17||Stats|
|UT Martin vs. Florida||UT Martin||FLA||Preview||Florida 45, UTM 0||Stats|
|BYU vs. Tennessee||BYU||TEN||Preview||BYU 29, TEN 26||Stats|
|Arkansas vs. Ole Miss||OM / ARK||ARK||Preview||Ole Miss 31, Arkansas 17||Stats|
|Murray State vs. Georgia||Murray St||UGA||Preview||UGA 63, Murray St 17||Stats|
|LSU vs. Texas||Texas||LSU||Preview||LSU 45, Texas 38||Stats|
|Vanderbilt vs. Purdue||Purdue||Vandy||Preview||Purdue 42, Vandy 24||Stats|