TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama returns to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday for a date with Kent State. Kickoff is scheduled for noon (ET) on the SEC Network.
Here are five things to watch:
5. Rest some starters
Don’t expect receivers ArDarius Stewart (knee) or Robert Foster (knee). Both are listed as questionable, but neither will be needed to win this game.
Alabama has a few players dealing with nagging injuries. Ole Miss was a tough and physical opponent.
It wouldn’t be shocking if many Alabama starters only played one half.
This is the perfect opportunity to get young players some experience before the SEC slate really gets going.
4. Young players should get experience
If the starters take care of business, we should see a lot of Alabama’s younger players. Offensively, watch for receiver Trevon Diggs. Diggs has been working at safety and receiver this season. He spent most of his time this week with the offense.
On defense, look for linebacker Lyndell “Mack” Wilson and defensive backs Aaron Robinson and Shyheim Carter.
These games aren’t the best to watch, but they offer a glimpse into the future.
3. Work on the passing game
We know what Jalen Hurts can do as a runner. We have an idea of what he can do as a passer, but there are still some question marks.
Hurts has overthrown receivers. He’s also been late on some deep balls. But it’s not all Hurts’ fault. Alabama’s receivers have dropped plenty of passes through three games.
This would be the perfect time to clean up some of the chemistry issues in the passing game. Look for Alabama to focus on the passing game so Hurts gets more comfortable going through his reads and making quick decisions.
2. Quick start
Alabama has scored 1 touchdown in the first quarter this season. The score came in the final seconds against Western Kentucky. The slow starts have plagued the Crimson Tide through the early part of the season. This would be a good game to work on that.
It’s not the same level of competition as Southern Cal or Ole Miss, but getting some early points would help the team’s overall confidence level.
1. Clean up mistakes
Alabama’s offense has had too many costly penalties through the first three weeks of the season. The team has been able to overcome the mistakes and remain undefeated.
It’s time to clean up those things. A lot of the mishaps have been mental mistakes and unforced errors, including false starts.
Saturday is a good opportunity for Alabama’s offense, particularly the line, to play a clean, mistake-free game.