Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Game Preview: Florida Atlantic - Alabama

After defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers in week one of the college football season, the Alabama Crimson Tide will face the Florida Atlantic Owls this Saturday to open the home campaign.

While the contest with FAU is nothing more than an easy win for the Tide and a cash grab for the Owls, both squads will use the game to develop players as well as teach fundamentals.

In respect to Alabama, the glorified scrimmage against Florida Atlantic will be a great opportunity for Nick Saban to rotate a plethora of talent while getting a read on the Tide's issues in the secondary.

The game will also serve as a way to truly evaluate the quarterback situation, as Jake Coker will likely see significant playing time against FAU.

Betting Line: Alabama -40 (as of 9/3)

-Click HERE to track the line-

Florida Atlantic Owls

Falling to Nebraska by the score of 55-7 in week one of the season, the Owls gave up a grand total of 784 yards to the Cornhuskers. 286 yards through the air and 498 on the ground. Ugly.

As noted above, the contest with Alabama is a game FAU simply can't win, but that's okay. The Owls, who reside in the Conference USA, are simply looking to clash with a few big boys in an effort to get a few big checks. Its a cycle that was set in motion many, many moons ago.

Nothing against FAU, but truth be told, especially after being thumped by Nebraska, if FAU can hang with Alabama, even for a quarter, that will tell more about Alabama's deficiencies than FAU's ability.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Who's the quarterback? Who are the defensive backs?

Those are the two most glaring questions entering Saturday's contest, and hopefully, at least in some measure, both issues will have a clearer resolution by the time the final horn sounds.

While Blake Sims played every meaningful snap against West Virginia, Jake Coker will get his time in the sun against FAU. What will happen is a mystery, but his time will be granted, we can all rest assured on that one.

In respect to the defensive situation within the secondary, that question won't be so easily answered.

Or will it...

Bradley Sylve looked awful against West Virginia, so expect Eddie Jackson to play and perhaps start against Florida Atlantic. Crimson Tide defensive backs being out of position was arguably the biggest (negative) story exiting the Georgia Dome.

Expect Alabama to play a ton of players against FAU, so the right combination, in respect to the Tide cornerbacks, could be discovered this weekend even though the opposition won't be SEC caliber.

Game nuggets

-Wide receiver DeAndrew White will be out at least two weeks due to a separated shoulder.

-Safety Jarrick Williams will be out at least four weeks after sustaining a fractured foot which required surgery.

-Brandon Greene, at least for this week, has been moved from the offensive line to tight end. Greene was moved to tight end last season before returning to the o-line this spring.

-As noted above, Eddie Jackson has replaced Bradley Sylve in the starting rotation. Jackson has worked opposite Cyrus Jones all week, while Sylve has been demoted to the second team.

-Trey DePriest will make his season debut this weekend against Florida Atlantic after being suspended for the season opener by the NCAA.


Better overall fundamentals from the Crimson Tide is the prediction. Alabama can play like garbage and still win by three touchdowns, but Nick Saban wants to see improvement and hopefully UA will meet the challenge.

Playing to the standard will be Alabama's opponent this weekend, not FAU.

--- Alabama 56 Florida Atlantic 7 ---

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