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Alabama vs Florida State Open Thread

Alabama Crimson Tide   Florida State Seminoles
3-1 (2-1)   2-1 (0-1)
4pm CST - CBS

As always, five questions for both sides of the ball:

On Offense

1. Once again, whither Jimmy Johns?

2. Is Terry Grant going to get his touches this week? A lot of us were scratching our heads that he only had 11 carries last week despite being the most consistent playmaker on offense.

3. Will the offense be able to extend drives against the FSU defense, or will we struggle for a half before getting things going again?

4. Is DJ Hall back to 100%? He played last week, but didn't seem particularly effective.

5. And finally, the question that's on everyone's mind, can John Parker Wilson settle down and make the throws we know he's capable of?

On Defense

1. Mustin and Motley are both expected to play after sitting out with injuries. How much time will they get, and, especially for Motley, how effective will they be?

2. We had two picks against Georgia, and Stafford is a much better QB than Weatherford. Will we be able to create more turnovers?

3. Florida State has given up 8 sacks in three games so far this season. Can we get in on that?

4. With Mustin back, how much time will Prince Hall see?

5. Georgia's first TD drive was so successful last weekend because we were routinely out of position on defense, and a lot of that was credited to Mustin's absence. With Mustin back, are those troubles remedied, or, if Hall sees plenty of time, will he do a better job after having a game under his belt in that role?

And finally, just thought y'all would like to see this little blurb from SMQ:

Alabama at Florida State - - -

If only these two could have hooked up last year, in a real privileged-son staredown between Mike Shula and Jeff Bowden, the despondency would have been palpable. As it stands, Alabama's coaching change seems have done much more for the Tide than FSU's has for its ailing offense. It may not be possible to have less confidence in Drew Weatherford without necessarily thinking he ought to be pulled, because then it's Xavier Lee on to make the most athletic throwaways you've ever seen, and then what? Alabama is three points from being undefeated with wins over Arkansas and Georgia; Florida State was ten points from being upset at home by UAB. The `Noles still just can't move the ball.

- - - Alabama 24 * Florida State 18

Update [2007-9-29 11:50:34 by outsidethesidelines]:

I was going to do a thread similar to this, but since Todd already has one up, I'll just add mine as an addendum to his:

We're just under six hours to kick-off now, and at this point there's really not a whole lot to say about the x's and o's of the game itself. As Bear Bryant said, "The same things win that have always won, and we just have a different bunch of excuses when we lose."

That's about right. We know what we have to do to win: good defensive effort, come up with stops, limit big plays, create the turnovers, protect the football, run the football effectively, be efficient in the passing game, play well on special teams, etc. Again, the same things win that have always won.

But rest assured, victory will not come easy for us today. We are going to have to play damn good football today to get the win.

Yes, Florida State looked pretty bad to start the year, but this is nonetheless a very scary football team. They've had some problems with the coaching transitions, but you have to think it's only a matter of time before they get it together. They simply have so much talent with so much great coaching (Bowden, Andrews, Fisher, Trickett, Amato, etc.). Again, at some point you have to think that the new systems and attitudes will take effect and this team will really take off and start playing up to their talent level. And the off week comes for them at absolutely the best time possible for the 'Noles. After a discombobulated start, they get a week after to rest, review their mistakes, and set their focus entirely on correcting the problems that they've had so far.

And rest assured Bobby Bowden will have his team ready to go. On a personal level, this is almost certainly the biggest game of his coaching career, and he will have his players fired up. The odds of FSU coming out flat for this contest are about as high as the odds of Mike Shula being on the sidelines to cheer on his former Tiders.

We have our work cut out for us, we're going to be playing a very talented team with a great group of coaches, and one that's just coming off of an off week and one that should be very fired up and ready to go. We need to come out and play consistent and efficient football all day, and that's something we have not been able to do yet this season. A win here and we are likely headed for 9-10 wins, but a loss here and we drop to 3-2 with a couple of possible upset games on the horizon (Houston and Ole Miss).

For better or for worse, this game is going to go a long way in defining just what kind of season we will have.

Update [2007-9-29 12:5:42 by Todd]:

Corso just picked FSU, while Herbstreit picked the Tide. We are now assured of victory.

A southern man don't need him around, anyhow...