College Football Week 6: Alabama Keys To a Victory vs. South Carolina
After a shaky victory against Arkansas in Week 4, a lot of speculation surrounded Alabama heading into the following week's game against Florida.
Alabama played the Florida Gators for the third straight year and the first time in the regular season since 2006. The last time Urban Meyer and his Gators visited Bryant-Denny Stadium, they left with their tails between their legs.
In 2008, Alabama and Florida faced off in the SEC Championship. After a tight game from the beginning, Alabama blew a halftime lead to go on to lose, 31-20. In 2009, Alabama dominated, winning 32-13.
This time, though, the circumstances were different. Alabama was on upset alert because everyone knew Florida wanted some sweet revenge. All they got was deja vu.
Alabama's defense dominated the Gators by forcing three interceptions, going on to win 31-6. The Florida Gators were the seventh-ranked team and after the humiliating loss, dropped to No. 14.
Yet, despite Alabama proving they are still a dominant team, they once again are on upset alert.
College GameDay is making their way to Columbia, South Carolina, hoping they chose the game to watch as the No. 1 team in the country is upset. South Carolina is the first of six teams to have a bye week before they play the Crimson Tide. Does this give the Gamecocks an advantage over Alabama? Well, it gives them more study and practice time, but it still might not be enough to stop the rolling Tide.
Even though South Carolina had a bye week, Alabama only has to do three things to win.
OFFENSE: Get the run game going.
Mark Ingram had 47 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns against Florida while Trent Richardson had 63 yards on 10 attempts. Though this is not the duo's best game ever, they might need one against the Gamecocks.
Ingram had his highlight game against South Carolina last year when he rushed for 246 yards, which led to a 24-6 victory and a Heisman Trophy. If Alabama wants to win big, then both Ingram and Richardson must have big games. Of course they need to have nice stats every game, but Ingram and Richardson are the backbones to this offense and Alabama needs to try not have to rely so much on passing.
DEFENSE: Shut down the run game.
Marcus Lattimore is the Trent Richardson of South Carolina. The only difference being that Lattimore gets the majority of the carries and Richardson has to back up Mark Ingram. Lattimore has six touchdowns at 4.4 yards per carry. Not to shabby for a freshman running back. Quarterback Stephen Garcia and freshman backup quarterback Connor Shaw are also known to run the ball. Alabama is going to have to blitz and stop the run and force South Carolina to pass the ball. With the run game shut down, that will put more pressure on Garcia and cause him to throw interceptions.
Special Teams: Pin South Carolina deep into their own territory.
Yes, making field goals and extra points is very important. But another important thing is punting. Cody Mandell is going to have pin South Carolina deep into their own territory to cause South Carolina to run the ball.
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