Previewing Fresno State’s week two battle against no. 1 Alabama.
The Bulldogs will face a steep challenge in taking on SEC powerhouse Alabama.
Who are the Alabama Crimson Tide?
If there’s one thing you need to know about Alabama, the top team in the country, it’s that they will destroy you on all fronts. Even though Fresno State will be rolling into Tuscaloosa off a 66-0 rout of Incarnate Word, there is a good possibility that they will be the ones getting shut out this week.
1. What does Fresno State have to do right to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa?
Marq Burnett: Recruit some NFL players. Seriously, it takes either an incredible performance (see DeShaun Watson/Clemson) or a lot of luck (Ole Miss 2015) to beat Alabama. Teams don’t really sneak up on Alabama because the Crimson Tide typically doesn’t make mistakes to beat themselves. Fresno State would have to play a perfect game AND hope Alabama misses the bus from the team hotel.
2. The Bulldogs held Incarnate Word to -7 yards rushing yards. Is there any chance they can hold the Crimson Tide to a subpar rushing performance?
MB: No. Honestly, I don’t expect Alabama to run the ball a lot, but when they do, they’ll likely still have success. Look for Alabama to work on its passing game to get Jalen Hurts more comfortable. Alabama wants to get receivers other than Calvin Ridley involved in the passing game. That starts today.
3. Since Alabama is a perennial contender and always within the top five, a lot of their stars are pretty well known. What lesser known Alabama players do you think Fresno State fans should look for to break out?
MB: Alabama will be looking to replace four of its linebackers who were lost to injuries. Look for names like Keith Holcombe, Mack Wilson, Dylan Moses, VanDarius Cowan, Jamey Mosley, Mekhi Brown and a few others at linebacker this week.
4. To put it plain and simple, it looks like Fresno State will get crushed this weekend. Will the Bulldogs get any points on the board, and do you envision Nick Saban taking his foot of the gas at all?
MB: This is the type of game where Alabama could come out a little sluggish. Fresno State will have two opportunities to score in this one: on their first drive, and later in the game when Alabama takes its defensive starters out. If Fresno State doesn’t execute some trick plays early, it could be a long day for the Bulldogs offense.
5. How do you predict the game will play out?
MB: Alabama 48, Fresno State 0. No disrespect to the Bulldogs, but it’s hard to envision them reaching the endzone or even the red one against Alabama.
My prediction: Alabama 52, Fresno State 6