No. 1 Alabama ready to play at Missouri; Tigers' offense struggl - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

No. 1 Alabama ready to play at Missouri; Tigers' offense struggling

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No. 1 Alabama at Missouri will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. in Columbia. No. 1 Alabama at Missouri will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. in Columbia.

The bye week has came and went for No. 1 Alabama, and according to Nick Saban, his players are looking forward to playing at Missouri on Saturday.

"Our players are excited about getting back into action," Saban said during the SEC Coaches call on Wednesday. "It's always about trying to get the guys back into the swing of things when you get into a bye week, but I've been pleased with the way they've practiced and prepared."

Despite the Tigers' 3-3 record (0-3 in SEC), Saban still believes his team will be challenged playing in Columbia against Gary Pinkel's unique offense.

"Missouri is certainly a very challenging team to prepare for." he said. "They do a great job defensively with their pressures and stunts. Offensively, they're one of the most different teams we play against in terms of the style of their offense. So, this is a very well coached team and going to be a challenging game for us in the SEC on the road."

Pinkel's offense may be different, but without his starting quarterback James Franklin running the show, it becomes ordinary and has been far less effective in 2012 compared to 2011.  Franklin will not play as he recovers from a knee injury sustained in the loss against Vanderbilt last week.

The Tigers' offense is currently ranked 81st in FBS, down 76 spots from last year.  Missouri finished 2011 ranked 15th in total offense. 

They may fall a couple more spots after they play against the top-ranked scoring defense in the country in Alabama.  Through six games, opponents are averaging a mere seven points on offense against the Crimson Tide.

Pinkel and company will need an extraordinary performance on Saturday to change that stat.

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