TUSCALOOSA, Ala., Sporting Alert – No. 1 Alabama opens its home fixtures in the 2017 college football season at the Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Saturday against Fresno State.
Kickoff time for this game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. ET and it will be live on ESPN2 and streaming on WatchESPN and ESPN3.
The Crimson Tide (1-0) used an impressive defensive display to stifle Florida State’s offense en route to a 24-7 victory on Saturday night and are expected to have little trouble against the Bulldogs (1-0) this weekend.
In fact, the football experts are predicting a blowout in favor of Nick Saban’s side with ESPN’s Football Power Index giving Alabama a 98.9 percent chance to overwhelm the visitors.
“We’re looking forward to coming back and playing at home. This is a great opportunity for our players; I know how much they love playing in Bryant-Denny Stadium, said Saban.
“Our fans are always very supportive. Their passion, energy and enthusiasm is something that is special in college football, and we always look forward to that.”
Meanwhile, Fresno State defense was also impressive in its Week 1 season opener on Saturday night after holding Incarnate Word to just 125 total yards and minus-30 yards rushing in a 66-0 victory over the Cardinals.
On offense, the Bulldogs tallied 613 yards total, including 414 passing yards, had 26 first-downs and a 3rd down efficiency of 10 of 16.
Despite entering the game as the overwhelming favorite, Alabama’s head coach Saban believes Fresno State will be a worthy opponent.
“With Fresno State, Jeff Tedford is one of the best coaches offensively in the country,” the experienced coach said. “He was the head coach at Cal for many years, won lots of games and went to lots of bowl games.
“Fresno State returns lots of starters – nine on offense, six on defense and a couple specialists. This is a much-improved team; they played really well and looked really good in their opening game, where they scored 66 points and shut the other team out.”
Sophomore running back Josh Hokit accounted for three touchdowns, including three on the ground to lead the way for the Bulldogs.
Hokit also passed for one, while Chason Virgil went 16-of-29 passing for 246 yards and a touchdown and KeeSean Johnson had seven receptions for 120 yards for Fresno State against Incarnate Word.
Saban said: “They’ve got a good quarterback, they’ve got a couple good receivers and they’ve got some good players on defense.
“This is going to be a different kind of challenge for us and something our players will have to respond to because this a much-improved team.”
– RollTide Photo