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Lester came up big last year. We think we'll see more of the same this year.
Don't get us wrong. We don't think the Alabama coaching staff 'holds back' any segment of the game, per se.
True, against lesser foes, some more conservative play calling, especially with the game in hand, is called for. But against the SEC, why hold back anything?
The 2011 version of the Arkansas Razorbacks brings back most of the offense that scared the bejesus out of Tide fans last year and beat LSU as well.
Some say that the Hawgs won't even miss Ryan Mallett. We think those folks are right.
That's even more reason to let A.J. McCarron make his SEC debut by hitting the talented and athletic corps of receivers 'Bama has early and often. We all know Trent Richardson can catch and rack up RAC yards as well as his immediate predecessor did, so we'd like to see that, too, often.
On defense, bring out the heavy blitzes, confuse the offensive line and basically put the fear into the Razorbacks. If Alabama wins this SEC home opener and wins big, it'll send a message to the rest of the league and nation.
The road to Atlanta begins here. It could get a big boost by a big win right out of the SEC gate. Besides, you've had a week to rest up (see Game 3)!
So, this one can be chalked up to Saban and staff turning their team loose and out-coaching Petrino.