December 26, 2007

Alabama-Colorado: 5 on the spot

The Alabama football team looks to close a disappointing season with a positive finish Saturday against Colorado in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. Looking to snap a four-game losing streak, the Crimson Tide faces the Buffaloes for the first time since the 1991 Blockbuster Bowl. examines a few players whose performances could have a major impact on the outcome.

1.] Antoine Caldwell

Although the task of blocking Colorado star linebacker Jordon Dizon will fall on several, Caldwell's return to the center position will put him in Dizon's path as much as anyone. The junior hasn't played at center in nearly three months after moving to guard just before a four-game suspension, then playing tackle upon his return in the Auburn game. Still, as the Crimson Tide's most versatile player up front, there should be no adjustment problems. Dizon averages more than 13 tackles per game, and if he notches a similar total in the Independence Bowl, Caldwell and others must be sure many of them come downfield.

2.] John Parker Wilson

Given his struggles over the final month of the regular season, fans will be looking for a rebound performance from Wilson as much as anything. Colorado allowed more than 260 passing yards per game during the regular season, but Wilson will have to look like a different quarterback if that vulnerability is to be exploited. His completion rate has been below 50 percent (63 of 131) over his last four games, a trend that started when teams began double covering his favorite target, DJ Hall.




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