Alabama vs. Western Kentucky: Tide Rout Will Give Youngsters Time to Shine

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIISeptember 8, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01:  T.J. Yeldon #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the ball against Jordan Kovacs #32 of the Michigan Wolverines at Cowboys Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In games like these, you search for the less-than-obvious takeaways. We all know Alabama is going to crush Western Kentucky, but what secondary results will come from the thrashing?

On the Tide's side, we can expect to see a few youngsters shine as they see extended duty late. This game will likely be over at halftime, and that should create a ton of playing time for some of Alabama's talented underclassmen.

With several huge SEC games on the schedule, Nick Saban will want to preserve the health of his starters and get a glimpse of what the future holds.

Here are a few players that will have every opportunity to gain valuable experience and light up the box score.


T.J. Yeldon

I firmly believe Yeldon is the best back on the team. He showed his ability against a top-notch Michigan defense in the opener. He ran for 111 yards and a TD on just 11 carries.

For right now, he's sharing carries with at least three others. I know Eddie Lacy is talented and he's a junior, but Yeldon is special.

Expect to see him carve up the Hilltoppers.

Here's a fairly bold prediction: If things continue to progress for Yeldon, and his carries increase, I could easily see him as a Heisman Trophy finalist. He's that good.


Phillip Ely

The freshman QB is the future for the Crimson Tide under center. If this game has already been decided at halftime, we may see Ely take over midway through the third quarter.

He is athletic and has good accuracy on his throws. He was 10-18 in Alabama's A-Game, and that was against better talent than he'd potentially face in this one.

Right now, he is a solid backup option, but Saban knows he could very well be the starter in 2013.

This would be valuable experience for him.


Landon Collins

Collins may not see action, as he is currently listed as third on the depth chart at safety. Many Tide fans would love to get a glimpse of the ultra-talented defensive player.

The freshman could very well turn into one of the team's defensive leaders over the next two seasons. Athletically, he can compete with anyone.

He already has the size at 6'0" and weighing in over 200 pounds. Collins loves to hit, and he could be flying around the field in the second half of this game.


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