No. 1-ranked Alabama hosts Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday in a break from SEC play, but questions always persist. Here are four that will be answered:
1. What’s happened to the running game?
The Crimson Tide rushed for just 109 yards in its victory over Texas A&M, its lowest total since a 2014 game against Arkansas. Alabama hasn’t established a downhill rushing attack four games into the season. This would be a good place to start.
2. Will Jalen Hurts play?
For whatever reason, there’s been a persistent narrative that Alabama’s quarterback, who started the previous two seasons, would play in four games and take a redshirt under new NCAA rules (presumably to transfer after the 2018 campaign ends). Well, he’s played in all four games so far, so if he plays against the Ragin’ Cajuns that narrative can be put to rest.
3. Can Alabama’s special teams get it together?
First it was missed extra points. Now it’s shanked punts. There have been promising developments in the return game, especially with Jaylen Waddle on punts, and Joseph Bulovas has improved the placekicking. UA needs to find consistency acres the board in the kicking game.
4. Is this a name-your-score game?
The Crimson Tide is still averaging more than 50 points per game even though it fell short of the half-century scoring mark in its victory over Texas A&M. Starters have been safely on the bench by the fourth quarter of every game so far. No one expects this game to be close, but is it one that UA can win by any margin it chooses?