Fresno State vs. Alabama NCAA Football Preview
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, AL
When: Saturday, September 9, 2017, 3:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN2
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Betting on the Fresno State Bulldogs (1-0)
Fresno State was absolutely dominant in its 66-0 win over Incarnate Word on its season opener. The offense outproduced the Cardinals in terms of total yards, 613-125. Meanwhile, the run defense allowed minus-30 rushing yards, which is quite a feat.
Obviously, though, they’ll be up against a completely different beast against Alabama. The Bulldogs won’t get anywhere near the 199 rushing yards they picked up against Incarnate Word when they face the Bama’s top run defense. They don’t have much hope of stopping the Tide’s Hydra-like running game, either.
Meanwhile, Fresno State quarterback Chason Virgil just isn’t the mobile, playmaking threat that has given Alabama problems in the past.
After shutting out their opponents last week, don’t be surprised if the Bulldogs are the ones who get shut out this time around.
Betting on the Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0)
For the second straight season opener, Alabama made a potential playoff team pretty ordinary. The Tide took care of Florida State pretty handily, 24-7.
Sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts still doesn’t quite look as threatening as a passer as he finished 10-of-18 for 96 yards and a touchdown. But he really didn’t need to be with Bama’s running game still chugging along. Damien Harris was the star man with 73 of the team’s 173 yards with a touchdown.
There’s a chance new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll starts to open up the playbook a bit more for Hurts against Fresno State to see what his new quarterback can do.
Defensively, there were no surprises. The Tide remain the most dominant unit around as they constantly put Deondre Francois under pressure and limited the Seminoles to just 40 rushing yards.
The Bama linebacking corps took a sizable hit, though, with Christian Miller and Terrell Lewis both suffering season-ending arm injuries. Two more linebackers in Anfernne Jennings Rashaan Evans also picked up injuries, and are questionable to play against Fresno State. But if any team can withstand the hit to their depth at any position, it’s the Tide.
Alabama (-44) rolls to a dominant 48-0 win in their home opener.
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