Time: 3:30 PM EST, Saturday
Spread: ALA -39
The Crimson Tide propelled themselves from No. 2 overall ranked to No. 1 after pummeling then-8th ranked Michigan in the season opener. The Rolling Tide led 31-0 at the half and never looked back.
The defense was outstanding. Dee Milliner and company took control of the Wolverines. Milliner was the primary nickel back last year and now starts. He deflected four passes in the first half and had an interception, as well. That interception set up a TD which gave the Tide a 31-0 lead.
The Crimson Tide lost most of their starters and had to replace three first round draft picks, but the defense has remained strong.
“I think we came out in the first game and established the kind of identity we’re going to have on this team. On defense, we were aggressive; on offense, we came out and attacked,” Milliner said.
QB AJ McCarron found life without last year’s primary ball carrier Trent Richardson quite easy. The QB threw for two TDs and said he “(didn’t) think (they) were trying to send any type of message…(but) just trying to do what coach preaches…to go out and play our game.”
McCarron finished 11 of 21 with 199 yards and was supplemented by the rushing of TJ Yeldon, who ran for 111 yards on 11 carries with one TD, while Eddie Lacy had a 9-yard TD run of his own. The Tide rushed for 232 yards, ranking them 29th in the nation in week one.
Perhaps most impressive was the way the Bama defense countered Heisman candidate Denard Robinson. Robinson was held to 27 yards rushing on 10 carries, but he got hurt when he landed awkwardly on a first down lunge on a fourth-and-three. Robinson still may have a big season, but his performance against Bama was inconclusive, and the 14 points allowed ranks the Tide 33rd in the nation in points against.
All thing went right for Western Kentucky in their season opener against Austin Peay. They won 49-10 in their home stadium.
Fourth year starting QB Kawuan Jakes threw for a career high 296 yards with four TDs, while completing 18 of 23 passes.
Special teams return man Antonio Andrews had the highlight of the game, returning a punt for a 70 yard TD.
The defense for the Hilltoppers was impressive, too, holding Austin Peay to a mere 154 yards, while the offense racked up 596 yards for Western.
If anything at all went wrong, it was their poor field goal kicking. Western hit only 5 of 20 field goals last year, and missed all three last week.
Alabama Betting Trends:
Crimson Tide are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring more than 40 in their previous game. 10-1 ATS in their last 11 following an SU win of 20 or more. 9-1 ATS in their last 10 non-conf games. 9-2 ATS in their last 11 after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in previous game, 11-4 ATS in their last 15 overall.
Western Kentucky Betting Trends:
Hilltoppers are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 following an SU win, 8-0 ATS in their last 8 following an ATS win, 4-0 ATS in their last 4 after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game, 10-1 ATS in their last 11 on grass, 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 on the road, and 27-7-1 ATS in their last 29 overall games.
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