No. 1-ranked Alabama hosted Missouri on Saturday. Here are four key questions the Crimson Tide answered:
1. Can Missouri lure Alabama into a shootout?
Not even close. The Tigers came in scoring 39 points per game and Alabama had given up more than 30 in its victory at Arkansas the week before. Missouri’s best chance seemed to be to engage UA in a game of swapping touchdowns, but it didn’t play out that way. Alabama didn’t score its average of 56, but only gave up 10 points.
2. Will Drew Lock challenge the Crimson Tide’s secondary?
The Tigers’ quarterback with the NFL arm made a couple of NFL throws, including one for a touchdown, but fell far short of his average of nearly 300 passing yards per game, ending up with 142 on a 50-percent completion ratio. Alabama’s pass rush kept him from ever settling into a rhythm and Saivion Smith picked him off twice. Against a formidable challenge, this was the best outing for UA’s pass defense
3. Can Tua Tagovailoa keep it up?
Alabama’s sophomore quarterback wasn’t as sharp as usual and left some points on the boards with a couple of drives that fizzled and resulted in field goals, and he checked out early when he was injured on a run in the third quarter. Tagovailoa completed 12 of 22 attempts for 265 yards with three touchdowns, an indication of how well he has played considering this outing seemed a little below par.
4. Will Alabama students show up?
They did, and were in full voice for the return of “Dixieland Delight.” The popular interactive song was played over the public address system at a UA home game for the first time since 2015 when it was played in the fourth quarter. Students sang along and seemed to pretty much keep it clean with the interactive call-backs to the lyrics. They were there for kickoff and cheered to the end.