Alabama Football: Nine interesting week two games for Tide fans

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Alabama Football
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Oregon Ducks at Ohio State Buckeyes

At least one of these teams is a potential Alabama Football post-season opponent.

The Buckeyes are No. 3 in the AP and Coaches polls. The Ducks are ranked No. 11 by the coaches and No. 12 by the media.

Ohio State opened the season with a 45-31 win over Minnesota. The Gophers are a pretty good team, maybe on par with Missouri or Kentucky in the SEC. They gave the Buckeyes some problems until new Ohio State QB, C.J. Stroud got comfortable.

In an opening 31-24 win over Fresno State, the Ducks did not look like a Playoff potential team. A close game in Columbus would give an early indication of the relative strengths of both teams.

What could be a major problem for the Ducks is the questionable status of Kayvon Thibodeaux. Slowing the Buckeyes passing game will be much tougher without his pass-rushing ability.

Pitt Panthers at Tennessee Vols

The Vols opened with a 38-6 victory over a weak Bowling Green team. Pitt won 51-7 over UMass. The Panthers are improved on offense but will not rack up such points on the Vols. On the flip side, the Pitt front seven can cause the Vols frequent problems.

A Tennessee offense that could only manage 38 points on Bowling Green, will not be as productive on the Panthers. Hurry-up doesn’t help unless a team can consistently move the chains. A recent report by Jimmy Hyams stated Vols RB, Tiyan Evans is doubtful for “health reasons.” Evans rushed for 120 yards against Bowling Green.

In a game that can go either way, the Vols need to win at home. If they can’t beat Pitt, likely tougher games against Kentucky and Missouri could be more losses.

In Week One SEC Power Rankings, the Vols were given a regular-season ceiling of five wins. To exceed that number, Tennessee must win two of their four games against Pitt, South Carolina, Missouri and Kentucky.

Florida Gators at South Florida Bulls

The Gators should have no problem with the Bulls but the game will interest Alabama football fans anyway. Dan Mullen must solve a QB quandary. Can he depend on Emory Jones or Anthony Richardson to beat the Crimson Tide defense on Sept. 18? Or does a rotation of both make sense? Dan Mullen says Jones is his starter because he is more capable at running the entire Gators’ offense.

The Gators, having beaten Florida Atlantic 35-14, are ranked No. 9 in the Coaches Poll and No. 13 in the AP Poll. USF opened with a 45-0 loss to North Carolina State. Florida needs this almost-practice game to sort out its offense before the Crimson Tide.