Alabama Football: Latest news and questions from T-Town

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

This is the week most teams are expected to take a leap forward. Let’s check out how that is developing in Tuscaloosa.

Mostly, Alabama football fans are an impatient lot. Annually, the Crimson Tide is expected to crush a solid opening opponent and then cruise to a national championship. History tells us that rarely happens.

A dominating opening win has become the norm in the Nick Saban years. But history also shows, it is impossible to know where future peril lies. Alabama football fans want to mirror Nick Saban by believing the Crimson Tide has a plan for everything.

So when the offensive line sputtered against Duke and when doubts linger about defensive line depth, Alabama football fans want answers.

Week two of the season may not provide all the answers. New Mexico State will have to battle a massive talent disparity and the Deep South late-summer heat at the same time. The Aggies will wilt, probably quite quickly.

The Alabama football staff will take advantage of the opportunity to go three-deep or more into its roster. The result will be much-needed game experience and the downside of some sloppy play.

Will week two solidify the Alabama football offensive line?

One reason it will not is because one of the Tide’s best run blockers, Deonte Brown, will still be sitting out a suspension. The first two practices of week two indicate the same unit that started against Duke are still running first team. So more growing pains for true freshman, Evan Neal can be expected. What Tide fans will be looking for is how much time Matt Womack gets with the first unit and when he does, will Landon Dickerson be at center?

What about defensive line depth?

So far it is safe to say the Crimson Tide has four very good defensive linemen in Raekwon Davis, LaBryan Ray, D.J. Dale and Phidarian Mathis. Until Justin Eboigbe hurt his foot, he was rapidly becoming No. 5.

Five is not enough. Saturday is a chance to learn how many others can be counted on for solid depth. Tevita Musika, Christian Barmore, Stephon Wynn and Byron Young are the four most likely to separate themselves from the others. Eboigbe is probably two or three weeks away from being healthy. At least two of the quartet listed above need to stand out against New Mexico State. Maybe later, Antonio Alfano, Ishmael Sopsher and Braylen Ingraham can help, but that later may be next season.

Other news

As expected the Alabama Crimson Tide remained No. 2 in the AP and Coaches polls. A strong counter-statement to the claim the SEC has slipped in dominance is the SEC West Division. In the latest AP Poll four of the top 12 teams are from the SEC West – Alabama (2); LSU (6); Auburn (10); Texas A&M (12). Also in the top 12 are Georgia (3) and Florida (11) from the SEC East.

Next. The All-Time Bama Team. dark

Another question on the minds of Alabama football fans is can the Tide get consistent QB pressure, rushing only four. Any positive answer Saturday will be misleading.