The Crimson Tide’s home opener is set for Saturday, Sept. 9 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Here’s the info you need for the game:
Alabama (1-0) vs. Fresno State (1-0)
Kickoff Time: 2:30 p.m. (Central Time)
Radio: 102.9 FM
Line: Alabama by 45
Need To Know
Alabama’s clear bag policy is in effect. Clear plastic totes are not to exceed 12″x 6″x 12″. Fans are permitted to bring a one-gallon clear plastic bag or a small clutch/purse not to exceed 4.5″x 6.5″. Backpacks, large purses, camera bags, diaper bags and other non-clear bags are not permitted.
Gates open two hours prior to kickoff.
Honorary captains Marlin “Scooter” Dyess and Benny Nelson will be available for autographs at the Bryant Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00. Dyess was team captain in 1959. Nelson was a star halfback who helped UA win the 1961 national championship and was team captain and an All-American in 1963.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Key Stat: Harris was the No. 1 overall prospect in the country according to Scout, Rivals and PrepStar. He rushed for 2,776 yards and 36 touchdowns in his senior season.
Harris only had three carries for five yards against Florida State but should see his touches go up against the Bulldogs on Saturday. The expectations for the freshman are exceptionally high for good reason. Harris accumulated the fourth-most rushing yards in California state history and has the physical tools to match the Alabama greats of recent memory.
Henry Ruggs III
Key Stat: Ruggs returned one kick against Florida State for 15 yards.
It will be interesting to see where Alabama tries to use the speed of Ruggs as the season progresses. Against the Seminoles he got one try as the kick returner but wasn’t able to do much. That could be a role that the five-star prospect ends up filling if he takes advantage of the chances he gets on special teams. Ruggs should also see some significant time at receiver against Fresno State.
Key Stat: Moses had 116 tackles as a senior at IMG Academy.
After losing four linebackers to injury against Florida State, including two for the rest of the season, Alabama will look to its youth to step up on defense. Keith Holcombe and Mack Wilson will most likely be the leading candidates to fill in for Rashaan Evans while he recovers from an injured groin, and that will bump Moses up in the rotation at outside linebacker. He saw some time in Alabama’s dime package against Florida State and recorded one tackle.
Key Stat: Johnson had 66 catches for 773 yards and six touchdowns to lead Fresno State in all three major receiving statistics last season.
Johnson is Fresno State’s go-to man. The Bulldogs struggled to move the ball last season, but Johnson was able to establish himself as the team’s top target through the air in only his second season on the field. He’s already off to a good start in 2017, catching seven passes for 120 yards in the Bulldog’s first game against FCS team Incarnate Word.
Johnny Johnson Jr.
Key Stat: Johnson made five starts for UCLA in 2015 and one start for the Bruins in 2016
Johnson is a transfer from UCLA who was once scout.com’s no. 8 cornerback coming out of high school. He gives the Bulldogs needed experience on the outside and is part of new Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford’s recent overhaul of the roster. Johnson will need a good performance if the Bulldogs want a chance to keep up with Alabama’s receivers.
Key Stat: Mafi had 53 tackles including 10.5tackles for loss in his one season at JUCO school Laney.
Fresno State coaches like what they have seen from the former junior college player so far. Mafi has the speed to play linebacker or safety, and that should help his case for staying on the field against the Crimson Tide. The 5-11 linebacker also has a knack for creating turnovers as well, forcing three fumbles and intercepting three passes in his one season at Laney. His Troy Polamalu-esque hair will make him easy to spot.