Week 1: A Look at How the Crimson Tide’s 2015 Opponents Did
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Each week we will take a look at Alabama’s 2015 opponents and how they performed. If the Crimson Tide somehow lose one or two games before the playoff, this will help you see how their strength of schedule is doing. Every week we will look over all 12 regular season opponents and let you know their result, how it happened and any players that Alabama may need to watch out for in the future. This week features a lot of blowouts against cupcake teams but we should just be happy that football is back.
Week 1: Wisconsin – Loss vs. Alabama 17-35
Next week: Miami (OH), 11:00 am CST
Week 2: Middle Tennessee State – Win vs. Jackson State 70-14
The Blue Raiders will be entering Tuscaloosa this weekend after a huge win. MTSU showed a dynamic offense that was balanced well throughout the game. They finished the night with 351 passing yards and 282 rushing yards in the blowout victory. Freshman quarterback Brent Stockstill completed 23 of 29 passes for 336 yards and four touchdowns. He has the second highest Total QBR in the nation at 98.6, according to ESPN.
Next week: at Alabama, 3:00 pm CST
Week 3: Ole Miss – Win vs. UT-Martin 76-3
The Rebels looked good this past weekend, crushing the previously unbeaten Skyhawks. Even though it was an easy win for Ole Miss, everyone played just as well as they were expecting. All three quarterbacks got in the game with JUCO transfer Chad Kelly leading the way. Kelly finished with 9 for 15 with 211 yards and two touchdown. The team rushed for 338 yards, averaging 9.8 per carry in the win.
Next week: Fresno State, 2:30 pm CST
Week 4: Louisiana Monroe – Loss at Georgia 14-51
The Warhawks opened with their first SEC game of the season, getting crushed in Athens. The defense didn’t show any signs of toughness, allowing 51 points and 243 yards rushing. The offense was one-dimensional but had freshman quarterback Garrett Smith complete 80 percent of his passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 26 yards on 13 carries.
Next week: Nicholls State, 6:00 pm CST
Week 5: at Georgia – Win vs. Louisiana Monroe 51-14
The Bulldogs rolled in their season opener behind Nick Chubb. The sophomore running back finished with 120 yards and two touchdowns on just 16 carries. The quarterback battle was settled with a good performance from the Virginia transfer Greyson Lambert, going 8 for 12 with 141 yards and two touchdowns. Malcolm Mitchell returned to the Bulldogs and caught three passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Next week: at Vanderbilt, 2:30 pm CST
Week 6: Arkansas – Win vs. UTEP 48-13
Arkansas looked fine without star running back Jonathan Williams on Saturday. Alex Collins ran for 127 yards and a touchdown, averaging 10.6 yards per carry. It was Brandon Allen that pushed the Razorbacks to victory with a career day. Allen leads the country in total QBR after throwing for 308 yards and four touchdowns on 14 of 18 passing.
Next week: Toledo. 3:30 pm CST
Week 7: at Texas A&M – Win vs. Arizona State 38-17
The Aggies may have been the most impressive team from the opening week. Their offense was sputtering at times but John Chavis seemed to get a good grip on the defense. A&M held one of the Pac-12 South favorites to just 5 of 18 on third downs and forced two turnovers. The Aggies outscored Arizona State 21-3 in the fourth quarter. Kevin Sumlin got playing time from both his quarterbacks, Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray. Allen was the better passer of the two, completing 59 percent of his passes for 198 yards, while Murray showed his ability to run with 69 yards on just six carries. Freshman Christian Kirk made an immediate impact with 106 receiving yards and a touchdown to go along with a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Next week: Ball State, 6:00 pm CST
Week 8: Tennessee – Win vs. Bowling Green 59-30
The offense looked as good as expected in Knoxville against the Falcons but the defense clearly has work to do. The Volunteers allowed 557 yards of offense to Bowling Green, most of which came through the air. The secondary allowed 433 yards and two touchdowns but the offense more than made up for it. Quarterback Josh Dobbs lead the way with 205 passing yards, 89 rushing yards and three total touchdowns. The Volunteers ran for 399 yards behind one of the SEC’s best duos in Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara who combined for five touchdowns.
Next week: Oklahoma, 5:00 pm CST
Week 10: LSU – vs. McNeese State (Cancelled)
Next week: at Mississippi State, 8:15 pm CST
Week 11: at Mississippi State – Win at Southern Miss 34-16
The Bulldogs traveled down to their in-state rival (not really a rival) and fought hard to hold off the Golden Eagles in a late Saturday night game. Dak Prescott once again looked like a player capable of winning the Heisman, leading Mississippi State in passing and rushing. The senior accounted for 309 of the Bulldogs’ 442 yards of offense and all three offensive touchdowns. They also got a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from running back Brandon Holloway.
Next week: LSU, 8:15 pm CST
Week 12: Charleston Southern – Win vs. North Greenville 41-14
The Buccaneers opened their 2015 campaign with a big win over their Division II opponents on Thursday night. Charleston Southern only had to throw the ball 15 times for 94 yards but rushed for 297 yards as a team.
Next week: at Troy, 6:00 pm CST
Week 13: at Auburn – Win vs. Louisville 31-24
Auburn opened up with an impressive win in the Georgia Dome but had trouble down the stretch, allowing the Cardinals to make the score closer than it should have been. New quarterback Jeremy Johnson showed that he still needs improvement, throwing three interceptions and only completing 52 percent of his passed. The run game looked decent with Peyton Barber getting a majority of the carries for a backfield that ran for 190 yards and two scores. Will Muschamp’s defense started the game with an interception and looked pretty good throughout the afternoon but did have trouble containing Louisville’s dual threat quarterback.
Next week: Jacksonville State, 11:00 am CST
Caleb Turrentine is a contributor at Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow him on Twitter, @CalebTurrentine.