|September 22, 2013||Alabama opens as heavy favorite against Ole Miss|
|September 21, 2013||Halftime notes: Colorado State at No. 1 Alabama|
|September 21, 2013||Pregame notes: Colorado State at No. 1 Alabama|
|September 21, 2013||Breakdown of Colorado State (1-2) at Alabama (2-0)|
|September 21, 2013||Five questions with a Colorado State beat writer|
|September 20, 2013||Source: Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon will be suspended for first quarter against Colorado State|
|September 19, 2013||Nick Saban on Texas rumors: 'I'm just too damn old to start over somewhere else'|
|September 19, 2013||Alabama fans line up at lunchtime for Nick Saban's 7 p.m. radio show|
|September 19, 2013||Former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain prepares Colorado State for trip to the 'Mecca'|
|September 18, 2013||Dakota Ball to miss 6-8 weeks after breaking foot|
-- 5Dimes: Alabama by 17
-- BetOnline: Alabama by 17.5
-- Bookmaker: Alabama by 17
-- SportBet: Alabama by 17
--SportsBetting: Alabama by 17.5
-- SportsInteraction: Alabama by 17
TUSCALOOSA -- In order to breakdown Alabama’s opponents, each week we’re reaching out to beat writers who cover the opposing teams. Mike Brohard is the sports editor for the Loveland Reporter-Herald and covers Colorado State.
Q. How emotional will this return be for Jim McElwain considering how much success he had while at Alabama?
A. Jim is really downplaying his return, saying it's not about him. But you can tell it will be special for him. He had one daughter graduate from there, and another is a junior working in the football recruiting office. The McElwain's have a lot of friends down there. This summer, he did a Twitter Q&A, and more than a few questions came from Alabama.
You can also tell he has kept an eye on his former players. This wasn't the first week he's talked about AJ McCarron in glowing terms. He brought him up out of the blue last year and even this year.
Q. Some Alabama defensive players said watching Colorado State's offense is like watching their own. Will McElwain and his staff mix up early to try to keep Alabama off balance?
A. Every team makes some kind of adjustments for every game, but he won't do anything crazy just because the two teams run similar offenses. His main goal right now is to get his offense into a rhythm, so he can't afford to step too far out of the playbook, that's for sure. The Rams are hoping the familiarity helps them play fast this week.
However, grad assistant Rob Ezell who came with McElwain from Alabama, wanted us all to write about how the Rams had adapted the Georgia Southern triple option for this week and pass that information down to the good folks in the Crimson Tide football office.
Q. McElwain and players have said all the right things this week, but will this moment be to big for the Rams?
A. That's a good question, because I think the game and the moment are two different things. Not one player on the Colorado State roster has played in front of a crowd that large, and many of them have said they'll take a moment to take it in and let it pass. How long that lasts will be key for Colorado State. No matter the outcome, it becomes a lasting memory for them, to say they played the two-time defending national champions.
The game itself, against Alabama, very well could be too big. McElwain didn't inherit what anybody would consider a stable roster, so he's had to work hard to fill in some gaps and weed out those who wouldn't buy in, a process that is still ongoing. This is still a young and learning team facing the top team in the nation.
Q. Give Alabama fans one offense and one defense player who could surprise the Crimson Tide.
A. On offense, most people know the Rams have two talented tight ends, so I will go with true freshman wide out Rashard Higgins. The Rams have been high on him since he stepped on campus, but he had a problem with dropped balls in the first two games. Last week, he seemed to settle in some and notched his first TD reception. He has size and speed, and if he has erased the nerves, he can make big plays.
On defense, Tide fans will appreciate the way linebacker Shaquil Barrett plays. He has a passion for the game and has learned to play full out on every down. He has a couple of defensive scores to his credit in his career and has seven tackles for loss this season.
Q. Who wins, why and what's the score?
A. Alabama wins, because it is simply a superior team. I know some folks in Fort Collins are hoping the Tide is looking past this game sandwiched between A&M and Ole Miss. Even if that were the case, the talent difference would make up for it. 49-7 Alabama is what I predicted for my paper.