No. 1 Alabama: 'They've Got Some Cats to Replace'
We were really concerned about [6' 2", 218-pound] Jalen Hurts running the ball against us. They do a good job not asking him to do too much in the passing game. The hard part is even on third-and-long, he can still run and get a first down. We wanted Hurts to beat us throwing the football. He has a strong arm and he can get hot, but he isn’t consistent. But he drove them down the field to win the national championship. It just so happens [Deshaun Watson] drove his team to win the national championship right after that. They have huge guys everywhere, but Bo Scarbrough [a 6' 2", 235-pound junior] is a really big back who can move. So is the freshman [6' 2", 227 Najee Harris]. Calvin Ridley [a 6' 1", 190-pound junior receiver] is always a threat.
They’ve got some cats to replace up front on defense. Talent is not the issue. Experience matters. Number 94 [6' 2", 308 junior tackle Da’Ron] Payne is a load, but we’ll see how the new guys do. They’re going to be well prepared. They’re not exotic, but they play with great fundamentals. You don’t have to be talented to be a technician, but when you add the talent to being a technician, that’s when you get elite. You beat them by making contested catches one-on-one against those long corners. [Minkah] Fitzpatrick (left) can play any position in the secondary, and that gives them options.