Wisconsin and Alabama kickoff their season at AT&T Stadium in Dallas in a neutral site contest. Both teams enter the 2015 season after both being defeated by Ohio State at the end of last season. Alabama lost to the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff while Wisconsin was destroyed in the Big Ten Championship game.
Each team is undergoing changes in various ways. Wisconsin hired Paul Chryst as head coach after former coach Gary Anderson took the same position at Oregon State. Chryst will rely on red-shirt senior quarterback Joel Stave to provide some stability in the midst of the new coaching staff.
With Blake Sims graduating, Alabama will have a new quarterback starting in 2015. The question remains who that person will be as it has yet to be publicly announced. While there have been rumors of multiple quarterbacks playing in the game, most people believe Jacob Coker will get the start on Saturday night.
Last season, both teams opened the season with separate neutral site games. Wisconsin narrowly lost to LSU while Alabama defeated West Virginia.
Here is everything you need to know to get ready for Saturday’s contest:
Wisconsin vs. Alabama
Saturday, September 5th 8 PM ET
AT&t Stadium; Arlington, Texas
Alabama by 10 (Line is according to OddsShark and subject to change.)
The two teams have only met one other time. In 1928, Wisconsin defeated Alabama at Camp Randall 15-0.
Wisconsin lost their biggest offensive weapon in running back Melvin Gordon. Corey Clement is expected to do a more than capable job in stepping in at running back. Clement made his first career start last season in the Outback Bowl against Auburn and was able to rush for over 100 yards. One thing to watch is how the coaching staff decides to structure their defense against whichever inexperienced quarterback Alabama plays.
While Alabama enters each season with plenty of talent there are three areas of concern for Alabama fans. Everything starts at the quarterback position and it is important for the Crimson Tide to develop continuity early. The secondary continues to be an area of concern despite being able to survive adequate play at the position last season. Finally, the offense will be almost entirely made up of new starters. The team will have to grow up fast with Alabama’s difficult schedule.
Alabama 24, Wisconsin 10
Alabama has question marks entering the 2015 season. However, those question marks should not prevent them from beating Wisconsin. There will be a heavy dose of running back Derrick Henry for the Crimson Tide’s young offense. The game will be close early on but expect Alabama to “roll” in the 4th quarter. One key thing to remember: Nick Saban has never lost an opener since he has been the coach in Tuscaloosa.
Editor’s note: Are you playing daily fantasy yet? Heavy’s partners at DraftKings are paying out $1 billion to daily fantasy players. Sign up with DraftKings promo code HEAVY and get a $600 deposit bonus with no season-long commitment.