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The Crimson and White Roundtable: One Down, Eleven to Go


As always, the questions and participants can be found at the C&W Roundtable blog.

What is the most important thing we learned about the 2010 Alabama Crimson Tide in the wake of the San Jose State game?

That the team isn't content to rest on it's laurels and expect to have wins handed to them.  We have some issues to overcome just like everyone expected: the d-line isn't quite as dominant without Cody and the secondary is a work in progress that absolutely CANNOT afford an injury, but the one thing that concerned me the most was the attitude of the team and whether or not they would get complacent and/or arrogant after last year's title run.  From what i saw on Saturday, that was not the case.  The execution might have been spotty from some of the younger players, but the effort and focus was there from everyone and that went a long way towards alleviating my fears that we might have a letdown early on due to a lack of focus or leadership or desire or whatever else might derail this team.

What is the biggest area of concern given the upcoming contest with the Penn State?

I just don't know on this one, honestly, because I was all set to say "stopping Royster" but after the Penn State staff had Bolden out there slinging the ball around all game long against Youngstown State (while Royster put in a quick appearance and then headed for the sidelines) I really started to wonder if they had every intention of attacking our secondary early and often.  I'm still concerned about Royster and that o-line, though; he's an All Big Ten back with two consecutive 1000 yard seasons under his belt, and that o-line is a darn sight more experienced and talented than the SJSU line that was getting a better push in the middle than I thought they could.  So yeah, until I see what their plan of attack is on Saturday, I'm just plain confused about what I should be worried about.

Which Alabama player is most likely to have a breakout performance against the Nittany Lions?

I'm gonna go out on a limb with this one and say either Chris Jordan or Nico Johnson.  I know both are backups right now, but Jerrell Harris didn't really show anything on Saturday that made me think he's going to be enough of a physical presence in the middle to hold up against the run and if Penn State decides to just pound us with Royster I wouldn't be at all surprised to see those two getting a lot of work in his place.

What part of the gameday experience are you most looking forward to on Saturday?

I'm really looking forward to the nervous excitement of a big game again.  After starting the last two seasons with marquee opponents, Saturday just didn't really have the same feel to it.  Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled to death at being able to watch the Crimson Tide take the field for another season, but there was no jittery nerves over the level of competition or serious "oh man, this could make or break our season AND IT'S ONLY WEEK ONE" paranoia, and as nerve wracking as that is, it's also what makes me really love this game.