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Alabama Looks to Shutdown Spurrier and South Carolina

Tide Favored by 17.5 at Bet Jamaica

10/17/09

This Alabama team, especially their defense has been nothing short of amazing for the first half of the schedule. The defense is only allowing 13 points per game, and is the big reason why a lot of people think that Alabama is the best team in the country.

They faced their first real road test of the season last week against Ole Miss and they completely dominated a very solid Ole Miss team. That win allowed them to leap frog Texas for the #2 spot in the country, and if they are able to take care of business with their remaining games on their schedule they most likely will face Florida in the SEC Championship, and the winner will go on to the BCS Title game.

Coach Nick Saban has come in and recruited with the elite teams and it shows, and he has the Alabama program going in the right direction, and should be competing for SEC and BCS Titles for a long time.

If there is one thing we have learned this year is no matter how good you are no one is completely immune from the upset bug. Alabama cannot get too far ahead of themselves with their showdown against LSU only a few weeks away, and need to take care of business here, because South Carolina is a very dangerous team. South Carolina is one play away from being undefeated on the year, and they are looking to prove to the rest of the SEC that they are a serious threat.

PRIMETIME MATCHUP


We all know how dominant the Alabama defense is. They are arguably the best defense in the country, and they give fits to any offense. We don’t expect that to change this weekend against South Carolina. SC will struggle to put points on the board, and this defense will give their offense every opportunity to get things going.

The one problem we see with this Alabama team is inconsistency from their offense, and they are going up against a very strong South Carolina defense that will test them. In Alabama’s last game against Ole Miss the Rebel defense made things very difficult for QB Greg McElroy and the Bama offense. The Alabama defense kept putting their offense in great positions to score and they were only able to punch it in once, and they had to settle for 5 FG’s.

If Alabama is going to not only win this game this Saturday, but continue their journey towards the SEC and BCS title games the offense has got to be able to put the ball in the end zone. When you settle for FG’s you give your opponent chances to hang around, which is usually why upsets happen, because the team was unable to put their opponent away.

THE FINAL VERDICT


It’s no secret that Alabama is the better team in all phases of the game, and there is a reason why they are 17 point favorites. If you look at this game on paper Alabama should be able to win and win easily, but tell that to Washington or BYU, or even South Carolina when they defeated Ole Miss who was ranked #4 at the time. That is why they play the games and anything can happen.

South Carolina has a QB in Stephen Garcia that when he finds his rhythm he can put up points in a hurry. The main thing South Carolina is going to have to do is the same thing Ole Miss did. They need to keep Alabama out of the end zone and force them to settle for FG’s. If they can keep this game close into the 2nd half they will have an opportunity to win this game.

Sometimes when you handicap games you can out think yourself. Something may be black and white on paper, but you'll say, despite that, I'm going to go the other way because the way it looks on paper is too obvious. That's a dangerous approach. Sometimes, things really are black and white. That may be the case here. South Carolina may be able to hang points on the board against a team like Georgia, who, by the way, is almost the worst team in the entire nation in turnover margin. But will the Spurriers be able to score on Bama? It's doubtful.

Bama has won every game but one by 18 points or more and they have done it by keeping teams out of the end zone. Fairly elementary stuff. The outcome isn't in doubt here, only the margin. But if SC can't score, the 17.5 point spot may not be that difficult to overcome. Alabama -17.5

 

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