Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday September 8th, 2012. 3:30PM Eastern
Where: Bryant Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, A.L.
TV: SEC Network and ESPN 3
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WKU +37/Ala -37
Over/Under Total: OFF
If anyone had any serious doubt whether the no. 2 Alabama Crimson
Tide could make a run at back to back National Championships, those
doubts were completely erased in last week’s season opener against Michigan.
The Crimson Tide dominated in every fashion of the game destroying the then
no. 8 Wolverines 41-14. Alabama got things done just as coach Nick Saban
has in his previous two National Championship campaigns in Tuscaloosa. The
Crimson Tide dominated the trenches on both sides of the ball, played excellent
defense, and pounded the football between the tackles. When the dust settled,
Alabama made a strong case for the number 1 ranking in America when the
polls are released later this week. This Saturday the Crimson Tide will
host the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers as they look to continue their impressive play in
week 2 of college football.
It appeared almost if the 2011 Alabama National Championship team never left this past Saturday night. Instead, the Crimson Tide welcomed 6 new faces on the defensive side of the football. Still, the defense was as potent as ever. The Crimson Tide defense shut down one of the nation’s top offenses by holding Michigan to just 269 yards of total offense. The defensive line played extremely well limiting Michigan to just 69 rushing yards and made 6 different tackles for losses. If the defense continues to play at this type of level, everyone in the SEC and the rest of the nation are in serious trouble yet again.
On offense, quarterback A.J McCarron was not spectacular but was solid completing 11 of 21 passing for 199 yards and two scores. It was just the type of effort Alabama will need from their start quarterback going forward. McCarron simply needs to avoid turning the ball over and make plays occasionally in 2012. If he does that, I don’t see how anyone is going to beat Alabama. In the running game, tailback Eddie Lacy was expected to be the workhorse this season.
However, Lacy carried the ball 9 times for just 35 yards against the Wolverines. Instead freshman T.J Yeldon stepped in to provide excitement by carrying the ball 11 times for 111 yards and a touchdown. Even though I am sure that Lacy will be a big part of the offense going forward, Yeldon’s performance shows you just why Alabama is a force every year. Nick Saban has recruited talent to Tuscaloosa better the any other coach in America. For that reason, Alabama has never had sustain a “rebuilding” season. They just reloaded.
In regards to this Saturday’s meeting with Western Kentucky, the Hilltoppers blasted Austin Peay 41-10 in their season opener. Still, Western Kentucky will be huge underdogs to say the least. On the contrary, QB Kawaun Jakes is a player that could make this Western Kentucky team successful in 2012. Last week, Jakes competed 18 of 23 passes for 296 yards with 4 scores and 1 pick. Jakes does a great job of finding the open receiver and hitting his check down options. I am sure Alabama will get after him relentlessly, but I imagine Jakes’ will make some plays to frustrate that defense as well. Outside of the solid play at quarterback, Western Kentucky likes to sustain balance by running the football with as well. Therefore, look for a balanced approach with running backs Keshawn Simpson and Leon Allen. The question is not if the Hilltoppers can shock the nation as I have already ruled the possibility out. Perhaps the bigger question, can they keep things within the spread?
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think Western Kentucky can make a few plays on offense but in the end it will be another dominating performance from the Crimson Tide. The Tide has not stopped rolling, so I will continue to roll with them. Take Alabama -37
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