Top-ranked Alabama overwhelmed Louisville to start the season and faces Arkansas State in its home opener Saturday with a new set of questions:
1. Can Alabama clean up its act?
Nobody expects perfection in the first game of the season, but the Crimson Tide was uncharacteristically sloppy against the Cardinals. Alabama was flagged 10 times for 111 yards, displaying a lack of discipline and focus that Nick Saban surely wants to correct. That task begins this week.
2. Will the offensive line be more physical?
It might be overstating it to say Alabama looked soft against Louisville, but the up-front unit missed assignments and failed to push the Cardinals around in the trenches. The running game wasn’t anemic, but it wasn’t overpowering either. UA will want to be more dominant in the trenches going forward.
3. What will Jaylen Waddle do?
The speedy rookie wideout tallied 146 all-purpose yards in his collegiate debut, catching three passes for 66 yards and returning four punts for 80 more. He may have just scratched the surface. Explosive teams need explosive playmakers, and Waddle merits more chances off his inaugural performance.
4. Is there a curse on Alabama kickers?
Maybe that’s overstating it, but while Alabama under Saban may be the most dominant dynasty in college football history it has certainly had issues in the kicking game. Austin Jones made 6 of 7 extra point attempts in his first outing as UA’s placekicker. He made a 39-yard field goal and missed from 27. It would be nice to see the Crimson Tide have some consistency in this area.