1. What is the most important thing we learned in the wake of the Penn State game?
In the wake of the Penn State game the panjandrums of the roundtable were divided on whether to be optimistic from the performance or not. Roll Bama Roll was among the half-full-glass contingent heaping much praise on the offensive line that "hasn't skipped a beat from last year and may very well be an even better unit." DBH Dance Party also sang the praises of the offense but offered a note of caution for OC Jim McElwain's playcalling.
The Capstone Report pondered the Bama defense and counted themselves in the half-empty-glass camp but with reservations: "If the unit continues to improve in the next few weeks, the defense will be fun to watch." Tower of Bammer was decidedly optimistic but much more interested in what was in the glass. "The offense really is the strength of this team, and with this young defence, it’ll get exciting at some point."
2. What is the biggest area of concern given the upcoming contest with Duke?
Despite having yet to give up a touchdown in regular-season play, the denizens of the Roundtable tapped the Tide defense as the area of greatest concern going into today's game and for further down the schedule. "If it takes redzone turnovers to stop Dukes early drives," Tower of Bammer opined. "We’ll be in for a long game against Arkansas."
Since Duke is known as a squad that likes to take to the air as much as possible the Alabama pass defense is going to be tested, Roll Bama Roll writes. DBH Dance Party specifically singled out the problems pressuring the passer and covering receivers. Capstone Report (and TOB) also singled out the bugbear of early-season gimmie games for concern -- needless injuries.
3. How much will the return of Marcel Dareus and (possibly) Mark Ingram affect the team's strategy?
Roll Bama Roll penned an epistle about the impact of Ingram's return but summed it up simply by saying, "we're not going to reinvent the wheel now that we have a new tool in the toolbox" although having the Heisman Trophy winner back would make things "a little easier." The inclusion of Dareus, according to DBH Dance Party, will mean the Tide "should (should) be able to pressure the quarterback better without the use of as many exotic blitzing."
Capstone Report was completely sanguine about the duo's return, expecting the game to be little more than a tune-up for both players. Or, as Tower of Bammer put it, “Beat they ass early enough to get the starters out of there and don’t get hurt."
4. What part of the gameday experience are you most looking forward to on Saturday?
DBH Dance Party notes this is likely to be the biggest on Duke's campus "since they hosted the Rose Bowl in 1941" which should add to the excitement of the contest but most of the roundtable looked forward to catching the first away game from the comfort of their own living rooms.
"I can get a little lunch and settle on the couch for the game without having to flip nervously between games while waiting on our beloved Tide to take the field," wrote Roll Bama Roll.
After battling the forces of evil and a bozo nightmare the past two games, Capstone Report realized his limitations and looked forward to a gameday at home while Tower of Bammer ponders undertaking a yard beautification project with their spare time.