Alabama is eviscerating their opposition as they look destined for another berth in the SEC and BCS Championship Game. Their latest victim was Arkansas who saw how far they have to come to get back to the level they want to be in the 52-0 loss.
When you play games like this the main goal is to come out of it as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, Alabama’s win came with a loss as they lost starting safety Vinnie Sunseri to a knee injury Saban said “could be serious.”
Alabama has had to deal with a number of changes in the secondary with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix suspended for two games—he came back today with an interception — but Sunseri is an emotional leader and will be difficult to replace.
“We need some guys to get some experience because we’re going to need some depth, Saban told Alex Scarborough. “Obviously as you lose players, other guys have to step up and play. We had to do a lot of shuffling in the secondary tonight.”
The job of replacing Sunseri likely falls on the combination of Geno Smith and Landon Collins as Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart mix and match to find the right combination.
The outlook does not look good for Sunseri who seemed resigned to his fate on Saturday evening and the tone and comments from his teammates suggests he’s played his final game with Alabama.
“Great leader, great leader,” Collins said. “I looked up to him. He’s helped me out at free safety with the calls and getting me to settle down. He’s going to be missed.”
Sunseri entered Saturday’s game as the team’s sixth leading tackler and led the team with two interceptions. He took both picks back to the house, most notably one against Texas A&M when he picked off Johnny Manziel and ran in from 73 yards out.
When you play a rebuilding Arkansas team with massive questions at quarterback and beyond the absence of Sunseri isn’t as magnified as it will be against LSU or in a potential BCS Championship game against Florida State or Oregon.
Sunseri will face a transition from player to student coach it would appear pending the results of his MRI, but as it’s always been at Alabama, the next man will have to step up and fill his big shoes.