The Crimson White sat down with Hawkeye sports editor Joshua Dean to discuss this weekend’s matchup with Louisiana Monroe. The Warhawks will return to Bryant-Denny for the first time since 2007, when they defeated the Crimson Tide in coach Nick Saban’s first season.
Q-Louisiana Monroe is the only unranked, non-power five school that has beaten Alabama since Nick Saban took over. How has that victory been brought up around the program and campus this week?Do you expect it to help the team this weekend?
Our win over Alabama has been brought up as a motivating factor this week, but it hasn’t taken away from our team’s drive and focus. We understand the challenges that Alabama presents and the level of play we’ve got to bring to take home a “W” and so it hasn’t brought down that level of awareness. It was an exciting win in our school’s history, though, and gives us a level of optimism. I don’t think the win will directly help our team this weekend, but I think it shows that, if you’ve got a solid game plan and can go in and execute, you’ve got a chance anywhere.
Q-Do you think Alabama’s loss to Ole Miss last weekend will affect the Warhawks’ game plan or the result of this weekend’s matchup?
I don’t think Alabama’s loss last week to Ole Miss will affect how we specifically plan for the game this Saturday, but I think it highlights what can happen if you don’t take care of the ball and concentrate in all three phases of the game. Three Alabama turnovers led to 17 first half points for Ole Miss, and despite outgaining the Rebels more than 2 to 1 in yardage Alabama still found themselves down a touchdown at half. Two fourth quarter interceptions essentially sealed the game at the end. I think it shows that if we can go in and create turnovers and make a few big plays on offense then we’ve got a real chance.
Q-What do think Louisiana Monroe can do on offense that could give Alabama’s defense some trouble?
Offensively I think ULM can challenge some of Alabama’s cornerbacks on the outside in terms of breaking tackles and making deep catches down the field. The outside duo of Rashon Ceaser and Ajalen Holley have been really productive for us the last couple games and stand to make a big difference in the outcome this weekend. [Redshirt] freshman Garrett Smith has really made strides in his first two games and has already faced the pressure of playing Georgia in Athens and so shouldn’t be rattled by the big stage.
Q-What kind of defensive game plan do you expect the Warkhawks to employ against the Crimson Tide? What Warhawks need to have a good game on that side of the ball?
The Warhawks will most likely go into the game with a pressure-oriented defensive scheme, but will have to be flexible and willing to adjust to the mul tiple schemes and formations of the Tide. The defense will have to play smart and be at their best during the game to stop a powerful and fast Alabama offense. A lot of the formations Alabama uses have different styles and looks within them and so it’s impossible to even determine run or pass. ULM will have to be ready for all of the different looks the Tide give them and adjust accordingly. The defense will also prepare for both quarterbacks and the different abilities they bring to the table. To have a good defensive game, the Warhawks need to limit coverage breakdowns and errors as well as win the battle in the trenches.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports