ORLANDO, Fla (WTOK). The Alabama Crimson Tide are set to kick off their 2018 Season against the Louisville Cardinals in the Camping World Kickoff September 1st. Louisville will be without 2016 Heisman Trophy-winning Quarterback, Lamar Jackson, but redshirt sophomore Jawon Pass saw action in six games last season – with two touchdowns through the air and one on the ground.
The new starter is not something the Alabama defense will overlook.
“Well yea, he’s a pretty good quarterback,” said junior linebacker Anfernee Jennings. “He can kind of – he dual-threat guy. But you got to contain him and you gotta put pressure on him and we plan on putting pressure on him and making it hard for him.”
Similarly, Alabama looks to make a statement not only at quarterback as Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa are expected to both make appearances, but also in the secondary – which will feature all new faces from a defense that lost eight starters from last year’s squad.
Alabama head coach, Nick Saban, addressed the progress of that unit earlier this week.
“I think a lot of progress has been made, I think, you know, we have a lot of new faces,” Saban said. “Guys have to learn how to play together – which they made improvement in. Communication is something that we’ve improved dramatically. So, you know, I don’t think that we’ll know exactly how they’re able to perform until they go out there and make the adjustments that they need to make and see if we can make the plays that we need to make, but I’ve been not satisfied with the progress, but certainly pleased with the improvement that we’ve been able to make.”
After last year’s 13-1 National Championship season the Tide, picked by the SEC Media to win the Conference, is the heavy favorite by nearly 25 points. However, players are not sleeping on the Cards. Senior tight end Hale Hentges understands that Louisville returns a talented roster.
“Yea, you know they’re obviously a really good team. They have a ton of big, physical athletes – you know, especially they’re quarterback seems like he’s a really good player,” he said. “I know obviously I don’t watch a whole lot of film of the offense, but they’re defense looks really good and they have a lot of really good players. Especially on the D-line they have some big, fast physical guys and they’re going to present a problem to us if we don’t take care of our business.”
Kickoff between Alabama and Louisville is slated for 7pm on ABC.