Storylines to follow in Alabama’s SEC opener against Vanderbilt

·2 min read

Nick Saban and the Alabama football team completely dismantled ULM on Saturday 63-7. The Crimson Tide had a strong showing in all three phases of the game leading to the dominating home victory. Now Alabama will shift its focus to its first conference matchup of the season against Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt is making great strides in the improvement of its football program under second-year head coach Clark Lea. The Commodores are off to a 3-1 start here in 2022 and are no longer a cakewalk in SEC play.

While Alabama is clearly the better team with much greater talent, the Crimson Tide will need to show up with the same intensity they brought against ULM.

It’s time to start SEC play, let’s take a look at five storylines to follow in Week 4.

Tyler Booker's role along the offensive line

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Freshman offensive lineman Tyler Booker saw the third most snaps among the interior offensive linemen against ULM this past Saturday. Booker even saw snaps with the first-team offense. It now appears that he has positioned himself to earn significant playing time at either guard position.

Finding the right mix of receivers

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It has been quite obvious over the first three weeks of the season that Alabama is still trying to figure out which receivers they want to play. With a quarter of the regular season complete, it’s time to start figuring that part out.

Amari Niblack could see an increased role

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Freshman tight end Amari Niblack caught his first career touchdown pass on Saturday against ULM. Quality depth at tight end is lacking at the moment and this could be Niblack’s time to shine.

Preparing for a two QB system

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The Vanderbilt offense deploys a two quarterback system and both Mike Wright and AJ Swann have been effective for the Commodores. Wright is a dual threat while Swann is more of your prototypical quarterback. It will be challenging for the Tide defense to prepare for both this week.

Can Alabama's special teams remain special

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The last couple of weeks has been superb for the Alabama special teams. If the Tide can continue to be a threat in the return game coupled with Will Reichard’s pin-point accuracy on kicks, it will make Alabama that much more lethal.

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Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire