A preview of Alabama football's season opener

A preview of Alabama football's season opener

A preview of Alabama football's season opener

Pass is not almost the runner that Jackson was, but, then again, who is? What Pass lacks in Jackson's speed and shiftiness, he is hoping to make up for in his ability to distribute the ball effectively and run Petrino's full offense.

-WR Jaylen Smith is Louisville's top offensive threat. The 6-foot-4, 231-pound Pass is bigger than Jackson, more of a pocket passer, and can run if needed.

Louisville will have plenty to deal with on opening night-they take on top-ranked and defending champion Alabama in the Camping World Kickoff game in Orlando, Fla. But Jalen Hurts, the two-year incumbent, has a 26-2 record as a starter and led Alabama to two national title games. Whoever is in the game will rely on running back Damien Harris, a Kentucky native, who has carried for more than 2,000 yards in his career. Alabama has won an NCAA-record 73 straight against unranked opponents, a streak dating back to 2007.

Coach Nick Saban has been noncommittal about naming a starter, and perhaps added fuel to the debate by naming Hurts and Tagovailoa co-starters for Saturday's season opener. Their depth chart is so deep with talent, it'll make your head spin. I talked with Matt Bradshaw, the sports editor of the Louisville student paper, The Louisville Cardinal, to get a different look at the matchup. We're excited to play them. Their teammates have been tight-lipped as well. Despite the numerous question marks, UofL head coach Bobby Petrino likes what he's seen on defense this fall.

"They're very sound on everything that they do - protection, run game, their RPO game that they do. We've got to be able to recognize splits and formations and tips and try to have an idea what's coming before the ball's snapped".

Problem is, there is no team in the country like Alabama.

Ancer takes 1-shot lead over DeChambeau at TPC Boston NEW
Even with seven birdies and a 65, Ancer missed three birdie chances inside 10 feet, including a 5-footer on the par-5 18th. He didn't play his best from the final group, but it wouldn't have mattered with Francesco Molinari closing with a 62.

But how is the Cardinals down in Louisville preparing for the Crimson Tide? "We've got nearly all new guys playing on defense".

Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder has brought a new scheme and attitude on that side of the football. What is it like covering a football team with such high expectations, year to year, and what is your prediction for how the season will play out? When asked if Louisville can match up with Alabama's defense, fifth-year senior guard and team captain Lukayus McNeil had this response: "Definitely". Junior defensive end Jonathan Greenard was credited with 15.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.

Las Vegas expects the Cardinals to fare only marginally better this time around: Oddsmakers have Louisville as a 24 ½ point underdog. Petrino has talked all throughout the offseason that he wants his players to believe that they have the ability to knock off the nation's No. 1 team, and the ninth-year coach thinks he has instilled those beliefs into his young football team. The 6-4, 230-pound sophomore went 23 of 33 for 233 yards and two touchdowns past year in limited action behind Lamar Jackson, who's now in the NFL. He completed 22 of 33 attempts for 238 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for 62 yards and a touchdown.

They key, though, is Petrino, who is known for his offensive prowess.

We'll finally see who starts for the Tide at quarterback. They are going to be tested - a lot. "And we will go beat 'em".

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