BamaInsider - 21 for 21: Which opposing players could cause Alabama problems next year?
{{ timeAgo('2021-06-10 05:00:00 -0500') }} football Edit

21 for 21: Which opposing players could cause Alabama problems next year?

From left to right: Miami quarterback D'Eriq King, Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral and Texas A&M running back Ainias Smith. Photo | USA Today
From left to right: Miami quarterback D'Eriq King, Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral and Texas A&M running back Ainias Smith. Photo | USA Today

Alabama will look to repeat as national champions this year as it aims to add a 19th title to its trophy case. The Crimson Tide opens its season on Sept. 4 against Miami inside Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To help pass the time until then, BamaInsider is delving into 21 topics and questions concerning the 2021 season.

Today, we continue our series by looking at which players could cause Alabama problems this year.

Alabama is already listed as strong favorites in each of its big matchups next season. However, that doesn’t mean the Tide won’t be tested. Here’s a look at five opposing players who could cause trouble for Alabama this year.

D’Eriq King, QB, Miami 

2020 stats: 11 games; 211 of 329 (64.1 percent); 2,686 passing yards; 23 passing TDs; 5 INTs; 152.74 RTG; 538 rushing yards; 4.14 yards per carry; 4 rushing TDs

Last time out against Alabama: None

Why he can hurt the Tide: Alabama has made a habit of facing its season-opening opponents the year after they lose a star quarterback. The Tide blew out Louisville in 2018, the season after the Cardinals lost Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson to the draft. The following year, Alabama blew past a Duke side who had recently lost first-round pick Daniel Jones. This year figures to be different as Miami quarterback D’Eriq King is set to be healthy in time for the season opener against Alabama.

King suffered a torn ACL during the Cheez-It Bowl against Oklahoma State on Dec. 29 of last year. However, Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee stated last month that his starting quarterback should be 100 percent by the time the Hurricanes take on the Tide on Sept. 4.

If King is able to play, he’d represent a good first test for what figures to be an improved Alabama defense. The former Houston transfer has the dual-threat qualities that have caused the Tide problems in the past, and may be able to exploit a secondary that will be playing in its first game without All-American cornerback Patrick Surtain II.

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Previous  21 for 21 articles 

1. Who are Alabama's biggest freshmen to watch?

2. A look at how Alabama could distribute its carries this season

3. Which Alabama rookie will have the most success in the NFL?

4. Can Alabama go undefeated again this season?

5. Will Alabama's defense rise to elite status this season?

6. Who is in line for a sophomore surge at Alabama?

7. A look at Alabama's options at inside linebacker

8. Will Jahleel Billingsley be Alabama’s next great tight end?

9. Predicting Will Anderson's sack total this season

10. Biggest recruiting needs for Alabama football

11. Which Alabama summer arrivals will make an instant impact?

12. Where will Julio Jones land this offseason?

13. Breaking down Alabama's options on the offensive line

14. Who will return punts and kickoffs for Alabama?

15. A look at Alabama’s potential team captains this season

16. How Bryce Young compares to first-time starting QBs at Alabama

17. Can Will Reichard repeat last year’s success?

18. Which one of Alabama’s NFL QBs is poised for the biggest season?