TALE OF THE TAPE

College Football Week 2: Western Kentucky At #1 Alabama

Western Kentucky
#1 Alabama
Kawaun Jakes (credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
AJ McCarron (credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Coaching
Willie Taggart, an assistant under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, is now in his third season. He took over a program that had won zero and two games before his arrival; Taggart led the Hilltoppers to a 7-5 season last year, which should have been enough for a bowl appearance.
Winner Leave it to Nick Saban to make Denard Robinson look human. The Michigan quarterback didn’t have any room to run last Saturday, mostly due to Saban’s game plan. He is rarely outfoxed by the opposing coach, though it helps that he usually has the better players.
Offense
The Hilltoppers posted a whopping 596 yards of offense in their opener, but it came against Austin Peay, an FCS school. Kawaun Jakes isn’t nationally known, but he’s a four-year starter capable of putting up big numbers this season.
Winner New offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier appears willing to give quarterback A.J. McCarron more freedom than his predecessor. And Alabama may not miss Trent Richardson all that much—freshman T.J. Yeldon rushed for 111 yards in the opener and several other backs looked good as well.
Defense
Western Kentucky held Austin Peay to fewer than 200 yards, but again, it was Austin Peay. There are reasons to think this unit will be better than last season (seven returning starters, for one), but it won’t be able to compete for four quarters (or even two) with Alabama.
Winner Michigan figures to have one of the better offenses in the country but Alabama shut down the Wolverines. They don’t even have to rush the quarterback often to get results, as they simply contain the opponents’ weapons as well as any defense in the country.
Special Teams
The Western Kentucky kicking game was bad last year: their kickers made just five of 19 field goal attempts. Sure enough, they went 0-for-3 on Saturday. They did make all seven extra point tries after missing four of those last season.
Winner The Crimson Tide is solid in the kicking game and has enough depth to use players in special teams roles who would see much more action for most other teams.

The Winner Is

Winner #1 Alabama
4 out of 4

Western Kentucky played LSU last season and lost 42-9. Expect a similar result in this matchup. Alabama is flat-out better at nearly every position.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Joel Berry II #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels handles the ball in the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at FedExForum on March 26, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee. Tyler Dorsey #5 of the Oregon Ducks reacts in the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at Sprint Center on March 25, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.
    Final Four Tale: 1 North Carolina Vs. 3 Oregon

    North Carolina and Oregon are set to square off in the Final Four. Let’s break down the matchup.

  2. osh Perkins #13 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrateswith teammates in the second half against the Xavier Musketeers during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional at SAP Center on March 25, 2017 in San Jose, California. Chris Silva #30 of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts after a play against the Florida Gators in the second half during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 26, 2017 in New York City.
    Final Four Tale: 1 Gonzaga Vs. 7 South Carolina

    Gonzaga and South Carolina are set to square off in the Final Four. Let’s break down the matchup.

  3. Super Bowl LI Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots

    The Patriots and Falcons meet in Houston in a battle of the league’s number 1 scoring offense and number 1 scoring defense.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Los Angeles

KNX 1070 Newsradio
Play.It
Follow Us On Twitter

Listen Live