The 3-2-1: A look at the Alabama Crimson Tide heading into Week 4
Alabama passed its first true road test of the season with a 47-23 victory at South Carolina over the weekend. This week the Crimson Tide (3-0, 1-0 in the SEC) will return home to Bryant-Denny Stadium as it takes on Southern Miss (2-1) on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN2. Alabama heads into the matchup as 39-point favorites, according to VegasInsider.com.
Today, we will break down where the Crimson Tide stands heading into Week 4 of the season by providing three observations, two questions and one prediction.
Alabama still confident in Will Reichard
Nick Saban calls it a “sniper mentality.” That’s the approach he wants freshman kicker Will Reichard to take following a rough game at South Carolina last week.
“You’re going to take one shot, and you’ve got to make that shot work,” Saban explained, “and you’ve got to be able to stay focused on the basic things that are the benchmarks of what’s going to help you be able to execute the best.”
The past three games have been a roller-coaster of results for Reichard, who joined the Crimson Tide as one of the nation’s top kickers in January. The Hoover, Ala. native has made 4 of 7 field-goal attempts with a long of 49 yards. He’s also recorded touchbacks on 21 of his 26 kickoffs. However, last week’s game against South Carolina wasn’t one for the freshman to write home about.
Reichard made two chip-shot field goals against the Gamecocks but saw a 37-yard attempt sail wide left and also missed on an extra point later in the game. The latter is especially surprising considering he made all 109 of his extra-point attempts during his high school career.
Despite the setback, Saban said he fully expects Reichard to bounce back.
“Will’s very, very capable,” Saban said. “I’m sure he’s disappointed that he missed a field goal, and I’m sure he’s disappointed that he missed an extra point in the last game. He kicked very well the game before, but we’re very confident that as he gets opportunities, he’s going to develop more and more confidence in himself.
“But he’s very capable, and this is a case where he’s a good hitter. If he misses a couple and strikes out, we’re just going to have to stay with him and keep supporting him because he’s very capable.”
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