Alabama football: What matters most against Kentucky is no serious injuries to key Crimson Tide players.
Alabama football head coach, Nick Saban, would vehemently disagree but the Kentucky Wildcats have no chance against the Crimson Tide. Saban has long been willing to risk injuries to key players by using them on special teams. Statistical probability indicates Saban is correct in there being limited risk.
Extreme caution might be a better plan on Saturday. The Alabama football team can go deep into its second units and still beat the Wildcats. The margin of victory should have no bearing on positioning for a CFB Playoff berth. Giving light duty to starters would also benefit the development of less experienced Crimson Tide players.
On offense, Bryce Young and Paul Tyson need playing time. A third Tide running back needs snaps in the absence of the injured Trey Sanders. Second unit wideouts need game reps, as do backups on the offensive line.
The Kentucky Wildcats are not a bad football team, but they are not near the Crimson Tide in talent. The strength of Mark Stoops’ team is his offensive line. Crimson Tide defensive line backups could be given a fair test by the Wildcats. The same is true for the Tide’s edge rushers with Will Anderson perhaps sharing time with Drew Sanders.
Developing depth should be the primary goal on Saturday. Along with no serious injuries to key players.
A counter-argument is the Crimson Tide starters need a game after missing two weeks of competition. But it should not take long for the explosive Alabama Crimson Tide offense to ring up numbers against the Wildcats. Under Mark Stoops, Kentucky has had tough defensive teams. But tough defensive teams do not surrender 35 points to a winless Vanderbilt.
Vandy is No. 11 in the SEC in Total Offense. As top Kentucky Wildcats expert, John Clay reported, Mark Stoops was very displeased with his defense against the Commodores. The sub-standard Vanderbilt offense gained 407 yards, aided by going 11-for-17 on third down. Two of the six, third-down failures were followed by fourth-down success.
The Cats’ offense features a true dual-threat QB in Terry Wilson. Coming back from injury, Wilson was 13-for-15 against the Dores and rushed for 83 yards. The Cats’ sophomore running back, Chris Rodriquez Jr. leads the SEC at 6.39 yards-per-carry. The Cats’ attacking strength in their rushing attack. The Alabama football defense is No. 3 in the SEC (slightly behind Mississippi State) at stopping the run.
A two-touchdown win and no injured players would be a great result on Saturday. The Crimson Tide does not need anything more.