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In a world of spread offenses and multitalented quarterbacks, zone-options and air raids, Alabama’s offense is relatively old-school. The quarterbacks throw. The running backs run. The receivers catch. The Tide plays tight ends and even lines up a fullback at times.

To beat Alabama, you’ve got to stop the run, Nutt said.

To do that, you’ve got to get through a line that is so good last season’s All-American tackle, Barrett Jones, is now playing center to make room for the future All-American tackle, Cyrus Kouandjio.

To beat Alabama, you’ve got to win the turnover battle, said Nutt, who is now working for CBS Sports Network.

Then he adds: “But the thing they do best, is they don’t turn it over.”

To beat Alabama’s ferocious and fast defense, you have to have a high-quality quarterback and offensive balance, Danielson said.

“If you let them use all of their plays on defense, and not force them to play right- and left-handed, they’ll pound most college teams,” he said.

Even with all his high praise, Danielson doesn’t believe Alabama is unbeatable. However, the list of teams talented enough to have a shot is pretty short.

“I would say this: Eight games, if the bus shows up they’re going to win. The other four games or five, you have a chance to beat them but you have to do a lot of sound fundamental things.”

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SUN BELTED

The punching bag is starting to hit back.

The Sun Belt Conference followed up the biggest upset of the season, Louisiana-Monroe’s overtime victory against Arkansas, with another strong weekend against the SEC.

ULM nearly made it two straight over the SEC by taking Auburn to the wire and Troy played toe-to-toe with Mississippi State. But the high point was Western Kentucky winning 32-31 at Kentucky in overtime on what will easily go down as one of the plays of the year.

Instead of kicking an extra point to tie the game, coach Willie Taggart went for a winning 2-point conversion and got it on a trick play. Running back Antonio Andrews threw back to quarterback Kawaun Jakes, who scampered into the end zone for the Hilltoppers’ first victory against an SEC opponent.

Story Continues →