After a dominating performance on both sides of the ball in a 24-3 win over 18th ranked Penn State last Saturday evening in Tuscaloosa, the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide under head coach Nick Saban enter challenging waters over the next two weeks.
While opponents Duke (Sept. 18) and Arkansas (Sept. 25) may not scare the life out of Crimson Tide fans, both games present land mines for different reasons.
Even though Duke gave up 54 points in a loss to Wake Forest (54-48) last weekend, the Blue Devils could pose as a letdown game for Alabama, who just beat old rival Penn State, with new SEC West rival Arkansas waiting in the wings.
As for the noted Razorbacks, that game signals the opening of the SEC season for the Crimson Tide, who are likely to get challenges for Western Division supremacy from the likes of LSU, Auburn and yes, Arkansas.
With 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram expected to see action this Saturday against Duke, and defensive star Marcell Dareus coming off of a two-game suspension, the Crimson Tide will have added weapons with which to take to Durham, N.C.
“I think there is still room for adjustments, making adjustments and getting in the right position,” Saban told Rolltide.com following Monday’s practice. “We had a few mental errors that were costly, especially on third down, whether they were technique-type things or errors in assignment, which were not as prevalent as the week before, but we certainly made progress. We’ve just got to keep improving, because this will be a real challenge for us this week.”
Alabama, which will return to the practice field in full pads on Tuesday, needs to put Penn State in the rearview mirror and focus on a Duke squad who will have its national championship game this Saturday.
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Written by Dave Thomas