There’s a bittersweet feeling in Tuscaloosa coming off of Alabama’s 65-31 victory over Arkansas. On one hand, the Crimson Tide’s offense continued to roll, reaching the 60-point mark for the second time this season. On the other hand, Alabama gave up its highest points total since its national championship loss to Clemson in 2017.
Alabama is currently a 28.5 favorite heading into Saturday’s homecoming matchup against Missouri. Here are five questions to consider leading up to the game.
Trevon Diggs’ broken foot couldn’t have come at a worse time. After allowing a season-high 405 yards of total offense to Arkansas last week, the last thing Alabama needed was to lose a key player at a position it didn’t have much depth at to begin with. Making matters worse, Alabama now faces a Missouri team which ranks No. 9 in total offense with 530 yards per game, including an average of 318.4 yards through the air.
Despite a shaky performance last week, Diggs has been a key contributor this season, leading the team with six pass breakups. The junior is also one of the most experienced players in Alabama’s young secondary, a unit that already lost backup safety Daniel Wright (shoulder) and backup cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis (knee) for the season.
That leaves Alabama with several fresh faces and not much room for error moving forward.
Junior college transfer Saivion Smith has led the cornerbacks in individual drills during practice. Smith began the season as a starter at cornerback and will likely take Diggs’ spot across from freshman Patrick Surtain II. Alabama also has a veteran option in Shyheim Carter, who has started at Star out of the nickel package and shifted to safety out of the dime package. Diggs’ injury could also mean more action for freshman Josh Jobe, who drew plenty of praise during fall camp.
“It’s a big loss but we have to step up,” safety Deionte Thompson said. “Us, the older guys, we have to get the younger guys on the same page as us. We have to bring them in for extra film meetings, meet with them one-on-one, teach them the adjustments so they can be ready to play winning football.”