Alabama vs. Texas Key No. 4
Alabama must consistently put pressure on Quinn Ewers. The Longhorns did not have great success on the ground against Alabama last season. Texas star Bijan Robinson averaged only 2.7 yards. The Horns may not do much better Saturday night. If they don’t, it might not matter because Texas has so many dangerous receivers and Steve Sarkisian knows how to use them.
I expect scripted short passes will give Texas success early. The Alabama football defense must make sure short gains don’t turn into long ones. Sark will also want to go deep, even though Ewers has no career history of being adept on long throws.
Relentless pressure on Ewers by Alabama defenders could take what otherwise might be a close game and turn it into an Alabama football double-digit victory.
Crimson Tide Key No. 5
Consistent pressure on Ewers will not be an ‘every’ play success. Sark will scheme him some time to throw without a Crimson Tide defender in his face. When that happens, Alabama must neutralize the Longhorns’ two most dangerous receiving threats. The two are Xavier Worthy and Georgia transfer, AD Mitchell.
Shutting down both Worthy and Mitchell is an impossible task for any defense. They will get catches, but Alabama can prosper by making those receptions not turn into explosive plays. Making other Texas guys win the game is a good plan. The ‘other ‘ guys, Jordan Whittington, Ja’Tavion Sanders, and Isaiah Neyor are also very good, as are a couple of Sark’s freshmen wideouts. Whittington caught more passes in last year’s game than Worthy did. But no defense can shut down every option and better the best Texas producers Saturday night are not Worthy and Mitchell.