The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, fresh off two convincing victories, welcome in heavy underdog Colorado State. The Saturday game will start at 7:00 EST from Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. It’ll be Alabama’s last game before starting their SEC slate. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Alabama has begun to roll through another season of big wins, having already dispatched the once third-ranked FSU Seminoles, and then putting the hammer down on Fresno St. They’ve once again showed great balance in all facets of the game. Even if they do rest their starters for much of this contest, they should easily dispatch of the Rams.
They have little-to-no weaknesses on defense. They may also have the most stacked talent they’ve ever had on offense since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa.
For Colorado State, they come in 2-1, but failed to move the ball in their one legitimate challenge (Colorado). They last played Alabama in 2013 when former Tide offensive coordinator Jim McElwain was their head coach. The final score was 31-6 Tide, but the Rams won ATS.
The spread for this game is currently set 28.5 points in Alabama’s favor.
Bama didn’t crush the Rams the way many figured they would last time, but this Colorado State is not nearly as talented. They had a surprising blowout at the expense of Oregon State, but the Beavers are a JUCO team on defense compared to Alabama’s presence there. If Colorado can slow them down to a crawl, the Tide should have no problem.
The Rams also suffer mightily against the run game. Though the numbers against them have deterred thanks to a solid linebacker corp., the Tide have four All-SEC-caliber rushers, including dual-threat QB Jalen Hurts. If they aren’t giving it to the bruisers Bo Scarbrough and Najee Harris, they’ll hand it to shifty Damien Harris. There’s simply not the personnel on the other side to stop them.
Colorado State’s passing game may be nonexistent too, even with Nick Stevens being one of the better QB’s in the Mountain West Conference. He has his two quality wide receivers in Michael Gallup and Bisi Johnson, the first of which has 309 yards in three games and the other 15.7 YPC. But Alabama has perhaps their best talent in the secondary, with potential top-10 pick Minkah Fitzpatrick and fellow returning safety Ronnie Harrison leading the way.
It’s really hard to say what the Rams can expose. Their running game has seen improvements, with three productive backs of their own. But they’re playing the No. 1 rushing defense from last year, which hasn’t given up 100 yards rushing after two games.
Colorado State does have some ATS numbers that work in their favor. They’re in the middle of a 6-0 spree ATS on the road versus teams with winning records. The Rams are also on a 15-6-1 run ATS in nonconference games. Unfortunately, the Tide have some pretty impressive marks ATS as well. This includes bouncing back from ATS losses like the one they had last weekend, with an 7-1 run after not covering. Bama is also 14-6 in their last 20 vs. teams with winning records.
So with ATS marks stacking up like they are, it’s simply a case of how often Colorado State can move the ball and how long they can keep possession. They run a much quicker offense than most teams, but enough three and outs that quick and their defense will become exhausted fast.
They’re not equipped with the talent they had four years ago or even two years ago. And Bama is on a tear and rising on offense, as potent as they’ve ever been and looking for one big performance in prepping for the SEC. They may play a lot of backups in the second half, but they may be up by more than four touchdowns by halftime.