Summer Scouting is a daily weekday post analyzing LSU football’s 12 opponents for the 2015 season. From McNeese State (June 29) to Texas A&M (July 11), we’ll give you an early scouting report on the one dozen teams on LSU’s schedule.
When: TBA, Nov. 7
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Early spread: Alabama -9
Who’s before and after: Bye and Arkansas
Alabama at a glance
Coach (year): Nick Saban (9th)
2014 record: 12-2 (7-1, 1st SEC West)
2014 postseason: Lost CFB Playoff, 42-35, to Ohio State
Returning starters: 11 (4 offense, 7 defense)
Preseason prediction: 2nd nationally, 1st SEC West (Athlon)
Who’s the QB: Bama’s quarterback competition, like LSU’s, will continue into fall camp. Florida State transfer Jacob Coker enters camp as the leading candidate to replace Blake Sims, but redshirt freshman David Cornwell is hot on his trail. Cornwell was the No. 3 pro-style QB in the nation in 2014 and the best prospect in the state of Oklahoma. He stands 6-5, 220 pounds. Coker, 6-5, 230, is attempting to win the starting job for a second straight year after losing it to Sims in 2014.
RB Derrick Henry: The 6-foot-3, 240-pound junior possesses abnormally quick feet and a stunning burst for such a large individual. He’s set to replace T.J. Yeldon as Alabama’s starter. Henry out-rushed Yeldon last season with 990 yards and scored just as many touchdowns as the starter (11). The Tide is expected to have a 1-2 punch in the backfield as Kenyan Drake, who suffered a broken leg in the fifth game last season, will return.
Receiver: This might not end up being a weak spot, but, for now, it is. Bama loses its top three receivers, including Heisman Trophy finalist Amari Cooper and his 1,727 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Bama’s returning receivers – Chris Black, Cam Sims and Robert Foster – combined for 294 yards last season. And Sims tore his ACL during spring practice. The Tide does have back tight end O.J. Howard (17 catches, 260 yards).
Previous posts and coming posts
Monday: McNeese State
Tuesday: Mississippi State
Friday: Eastern Michigan
Saturday: South Carolina
Tuesday: Western Kentucky
Friday: Ole Miss
Saturday: Texas A&M