Secondary to be tested against Duke

Posted by | Sep 17, 2010 | -

Dont’a Hightower chose his words carefully when discussing the differences between the offenses of Penn State and Duke. The smash mouth style of the Nittany Lions was more to the Alabama linebacker’s liking, though Duke’s contrasting spread offense creates several opportunities. Improving his pass coverage skills was an off-season focus and Hightower and the rest of the Crimson Tide defense will get the chance to see how far its pass stopping effort has come. In a win over Elon and last week’s loss at Wake Forest, the Blue Devils averaged 354 passing yards and 44.5 points per game. Alabama’s first two opponents have attempted 33 fewer passes combined and average just 121 passing yards a game. All told, the 2:30 p.m. Saturday outing should be a decent barometer for gauging how far the young Tide secondary has come a week before facing one of the most potent passing games in the nation at Arkansas. Seeing the Blue Devils big passing numbers, regardless of their opposition, excites Alabama safety Robert Lester. It just presents more opportunities for interceptions, said the first-year starter with two of his own this season. [More]

Lowery lands playing time

Will Lowery’s view of Alabama football games has certainly changed. The sophomore walk-on wasn’t sitting in the stands cheering when a Crimson Tide defensive back made a potential points-saving interception on national television against Penn State. He was the one making the play. With all the blue-chip recruits dotting Alabama’s roster, Lowery has worked his way from scout teamer to on-the-field contributor for the top-ranked defending national champions. He’ll even make the trip to Duke on Saturday. “I need to sit back and shake myself sometimes and thank the Lord for the opportunity that he’s given me,” the sophomore said. “It is hard for me to believe at times because I used to be sitting in the stands screaming my head off, just as much as when I was a little kid. Being here now is a pretty surreal experience.” His interception at Alabama’s 3-yard line against the Nittany Lions was real enough. [More]

Bama’s backs are ‘thunder and thunder’

Center William Vlachos discounted any complementary nature of Alabama’s backfield this week, saying Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson are too similar in their styles. “I think the great thing about having those two guys is they’re kind of the same guy,” Vlachos said. “Mark has a little bit more experience, but other than that, it’s not like we have a thunder and lightning, 1-2 punch. “It’s kind of a thunder and thunder.” Vlachos joked that Ingram, who makes his season debut Saturday at Duke, and Richardson, who was a force in Alabama’s first two games, are so good they “probably don’t need” an offensive line. Richardson returned the compliment. “I think Nachos (Vlachos) is talking a little too much smack,” Richardson said. “I think the offensive line does all the work for us. We just run behind them and just make moves as we get down the field.” [More]

Alabama at Duke

Lot of history here. Duke coach David Cutcliffe went to Alabama and was once a graduate assistant to Bear Bryant. Wallace Wade, for whom Duke’s stadium is named, won three national championships at Alabama before leaving for Duke in 1931. Wallace Wade Stadium will add 3,900 temporary seats just to get to about 38,000. The only question is how long Nick Saban will go with his starters because a big trip to Arkansas is coming up next week. Alabama 42, Duke 10. [More]

Roll Tide!

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