Alabama Crimson Tide stresses improvement vs. Colorado State Rams

Nick Saban and the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide face the Colorado State Rams on Saturday. Photo by Mark Wallheiser/UPI

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Many of Alabama’s nonconference games have a similar theme: The Crimson Tide try to compliment a lesser opponent while not coming off overly confident, while the lesser opponent gushes over Alabama but tries to show it isn’t afraid of the task at hand.

No. 1 Alabama vs. Colorado State is no different.

The Crimson Tide hosts the Rams on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium at 7 p.m. ET.

In Tuscaloosa, Alabama coach Nick Saban’s goal is to make sure his players respect every opponent.

"I think Mike Bobo has done a really good job there. These guys play hard, they’re physical, they’re very aggressive in their style. They can run the ball; they can throw the ball. They’ve got a good quarterback. They’ve got a lot of balance in what they do."

Meanwhile in Colorado, Rams coach Mike Bobo assessed the Crimson Tide’s defensive front by saying it looks like "an NFL front four."

"The more tape you watch, the scarier it gets," Bobo said in his Monday press conference.

Bobo made sure to stress that his team wouldn’t back down from the challenge of facing the No. 1 team in the country. Bobo, a former assistant coach at Georgia — including as offensive coordinator — has seen Alabama up close during the Saban era.

"It’s a great, great program," Bobo said.

"It always has been a great program. Everybody says that they get the best players in the country, and they do get a lot of the best players in the country. But when you watch this team on tape, offensively, defensively and special teams, it’s probably the best-coached football team that I’ve seen in a long time."

Colorado State (2-1) provides Alabama (2-0) with its final tune-up before SEC play. Alabama downed Florida State in a physical opener before pounding Fresno State in its home opener last Saturday. Due to injuries, Alabama is piecing together parts of its defense — especially at linebacker — on the fly.

Young players and freshmen who likely would have redshirted have been thrust into key roles. Linebacker Keith Holcombe got his first career start Saturday with Rashaan Evans out. Holcombe, who has eight tackles and two pass break-ups, could get his second start this Saturday as Evans was considered questionable early in the week due to a groin injury.

Alabama has lost two outside linebackers to season-ending injuries, and another, Anfernee Jennings, is questionable because of an ankle problem. Jamey Mosley, a former walk-on and the brother of former Tide standout linebacker C.J. Mosley, earned his first start against Fresno State.

There isn’t much time left before the competition ramps up, so Saban has stressed the importance of individual improvement.

"The one thing if you’re any player and you ask yourself, ‘If I was a stock, has my stock gone up based on the way I’ve played in the first two games or are there things I need to work on to get better?’" Saban said.

"I think that hopefully most of the players would say at this point we need to be working to get better. And that’s certainly how I feel as a coach and what I would like our players to try to do."

On offense, the big numbers haven’t been there for quarterback Jalen Hurts, but the sophomore has shown improvement as a passer this season. Hurts has thrown for two touchdowns, completing 24 of 36 passes for 224 yards. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley has, not surprisingly, been Hurts favorite target with 12 catches.

Alabama’s running game features a four-head monster with running backs Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough and freshman Najee Harris, plus Hurts, who has a team-high 209 yards on the ground. Scarbrough was thought to be a preseason Heisman candidate, but he has just 21 carries for 76 yards in the crowded backfield.

Colorado State comes in on the heels of a 38-10 win over Abilene Christian. The Rams opened with a 58-27 victory over Oregon State but fell to Colorado, 17-3, in their other game against a Pac-12 foe.

Rams quarterback Nick Stevens is 14th nationally with 328.3 passing yards per game. Wide receiver Michael Gallup is a real threat, rated fifth among senior wideouts by NFLDraftScout.com. Gallup has 26 catches for 309 yards in three games.

"We’re at a good place right now as a football team," Bobo said. "I feel like we’re where we’re supposed to be."

Alabama is 29-1 in nonconference home games under Saban, who is in his 11th season with the Tide. The only loss came back in 2007 against Louisiana-Monroe.

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Dancers perform in 2011 during the annual Fiestas Patrias celebration at Civic Center to commemorate Mexico’s independencefrom Spain. The one-day festival featured food and performances.

On Sunday — as they do every year in the second weekend of September — thousands of Coloradans will flock to Civic Center park to celebrate Mexican Independence Day with food, music and celebratory rituals. This truly is the year’s last big shindig of at the park.

In its 18th year the festival, Fiestas Patrias, hosted by Univision Colorado, La Tricolor 96.5 FM and nonprofit Mi Casa will present 14 live bands including international headliners from Mexico such as Pancho Barraza, Banda Carnaval and Huracanes Del Norte.

Event Coordinator Luis Lerma said no Mexican celebration is complete without good food. The park will be packed full of vendors selling traditional Mexican eats alongside wares from local businesses.

Mi Casa will also be administering free flu shots to anyone interested.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. At 4 p.m., the Consul General of Mexico in Denver, Berenice Rendón Talavera, will be officiating the El Grito Ceremony which marks the 207th anniversary of Mexican Independence.

In the U.S., Cinco De Mayo is sometimes mistaken for Mexican Independence Day. However, while the fifth of May is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, that is not the day that Mexicans celebrate their independence from Spain.

The independence movement began to take shape when Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara went to the small town of Dolores in the state of Guanajuato. He asked the local Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Castillo to help initiate an effort to free Mexicans from Spanish control. On Sept. 16, 1810, the priest rang his church bell as a call to arms, which triggered the Mexican War of Independence. This call is known as El Grito de Dolores, The Cry of Dolores.

Every year on the eve of Independence Day, the President of Mexico re-enacts the Grito from the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City, while ringing the same bell that Hidalgo rang in 1810.

Earlier Sunday morning, the Colorado Running Club hosts the El Grito 5K, which starts with the ringing of the bell to represent freedom and liberty. The race, founded in 1994 by a group of local runners, is a community focused family event celebrating culture and fun through running. The race will go from 7 a.m. to noon.

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Pamela Fine reportedly filed a lawsuit in United States District Court on Wednesday against former Colorado Buffaloes assistant football coach Joe Tumpkin and several other high-ranking school officials after she said that Tumpkin abused her physically and mentally during their relationship.

According to ESPN.com’s Kyle Bonagura, Fine sued Colorado president Bruce Benson, head football coach Mike MacIntyre, athletic director Rick George and chancellor Phil DiStefano, in addition to her ex-boyfriend.

Benson, MacIntyre and George all reportedly "face claims of negligence and civil conspiracy, while Tumpkin is being sued for claims of assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress," per Bonagura.

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

A double-digit win streak is possible at Coors Field this afternoon.

Today’s Lineups
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKSCOLORADO ROCKIESDavid Peralta – RFDJ LeMahieu – 2BKetel Marte – SSCarlos Gonzalez – RFJake Lamb – 3BCharlie Blackmon – CFChris Iannetta – CGerardo Parra – LFBrandon Drury – 2BTrevor Story – SSRey Fuentes – CFRyan McMahon – 1BKris Negron – 1BPat Valaika – 3BGregor Blanco – LFTony Wolters – CZack Godley – RHPGerman Marquez – RHP
2 Jaw-Dropping Cards Charging 0% Interest Until 2019

Well, that certainly is… a line-up, isn’t it? đŸ™‚ If we’re going to get to 10 wins in a row, it’s coming from a starting nine which doesn’t have Paul Goldschmidt, J.D. Martinez or A.J. Pollock in it. But if you can’t trust your manager who has guided you to a 99.7% playoff probability, who can you trust? I think we’re actually now reaping the rewards off Lovullo’s rotational strategy from earlier in the season. Witness the following Tweets from fans of other teams, who have clearly noticed a difference between the two sides in this series.

@Rockies look tired. Worn down, mentally and physically. Dbacks look ready to go all the way.

— janet carpenter (@JanC60) September 3, 2017

Those games back in May and June when we gave core players a day off, seem to have been repaid, with interest, in this ongoing nine-game winning streak – five of them coming against other teams in playoff spots. I must confess, I am a little surprised to see such a relaxed line-up for a game which, if we win, could be the final nail in the Rockies’ hopes of securing home-field. But, I guess, having already secured the series win on the road, this is seriously playing with house money. I note Colorado are sitting Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds here as well, so it’s not just going to be th Diamondbacks.

Negron makes his debut as a Diamondback, becoming the 44th player and 22nd position player used by the team this season. I imagine he’ll show up eventually as one of the trickier answers on a “Name all the players to have started at 1B for Arizona” Sporcle! Interesting see Lamb in the #3 hole and Iannetta batting clean-up this afternoon. We’ll see if this line-up can deliver more early runs, and give the team a chance at setting the all-time best in recorded baseball history for consecutive innings with the lead. The D-backs currently sit at 52, needing to get through the first four frames in Coors to set a new mark.

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Construction workers in Thornton, Colorado, discovered the fossil of a triceratops on August 25.

The fossil dates back to more than 66 million years ago, said Denver Museum of Nature and Science curator Joe Sertich, and is only the third triceratops skull to be found in the Front Range area. Credit: City of Thornton via Storyful

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The FOX31 Problem Solvers and Colorado’s Own Channel 2 are teaming up with The Salvation Army to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Representatives from The Salvation Army will be hosting a live phone bank in studio starting Monday at 4 p.m. for anyone who wants to call and offer help to victims.

Our phone bank will run through Channel 2 News at 11 p.m. on Monday and continue from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning during Good Day Colorado and Daybreak on Channel 2.

If you want to help right now, you can donate to The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) or donate online.

Hurricane Harvey has caused has ripped apart homes, knocked out power, and left unprecedented flooding across southeast Texas. The catastrophic flooding from Harvey is expected to last into this week.

The Salvation Army has already deployed 42 mobile kitchens and two field kitchens to Texas. In addition to units already based in Texas, mobile kitchens from Arkansas and Oklahoma were also sent to the region over the weekend.

The mobile kitchens can serve an average of 1,500 meals per day.

The Salvation Army has also staged emergency supplies such as cleanup kits, water, and food at its disaster center in Arlington, Texas, and at points nearer to the coast.

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who kneeled for the "Star Spangled Banner" before eight games last season, said he has not decided if he would kneel for the national anthem this season.

Marshall has stood during the anthem for the Broncos’ two preseason games, but both were on the road and Marshall did not play in last weekend’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Broncos’ final two preseason games — Saturday night and Aug. 31 — are both in Denver, as is the regular-season opener Sept. 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

"I’m still thinking about that, honestly," Marshall said after practice Thursday. " …Before I took a knee last year, I decided I just don’t want to take one, I want to put some actions behind it," Marshall said. "In my opinion as long as everybody that’s doing it is out there actively doing something about it, like [Colin Kaepernick], like me, like Malcolm [Jenkins], Michael Bennett, Marshawn Lynch does a lot in his community, as long as people are actively doing something while they’re protesting, I think it’s beautiful. And it could actually have a huge impact."

Marshall, who was Kaepernick’s teammate in college at Nevada, lost two major endorsements last season as he became a flashpoint among those who agreed with his right to protest and those who believed he should stand for the anthem.

As part of his decision to kneel, Marshall also met with Denver’s police chief and Denver’s police union, the Denver Protective Association, to "try to make real change." Marshall also donated money to Denver charities for every tackle he made last season.

Marshall said he decided to stand once again for the anthem last season because, "I felt like some real change had taken place and that were a part of that."

Marshall has continued to draw highly emotional reactions on both sides of the issue on social media and in letters he receives at the team’s complex. He says more group action like the 12 Cleveland Browns’ players taking a knee in prayer before Monday night’s preseason game is a sign more players feel compelled to be involved.

"I think what I like about it is more people aren’t scared," Marshall said. "Some people were scared of it last year, they didn’t know how the team was going to look at it, the thing with Kaepernick, all of the backlash he was getting, people aren’t scared of that anymore. People aren’t scared of what the team might say or what the fans might say and I think that’s how it should be."

Marshall was also asked Thursday why, if some people in the stands at games leave their hats on during the anthem or are walking to their seats, have NFL players been the target of so much anger from the public.

"I guess because we’re in the public spotlight, you can actively see us, I guess we’re supposed to be held to a higher standard, but we all should be held to the same standard," Marshall said. "Some people don’t even stand up in the stands. But [it’s] probably because they can reach us on Twitter and know it might create — there’s a story behind it. I don’t know, because there’s a lot of people who don’t do what they’re supposed to do during the anthem."

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DENVER – Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced Monday that "faithless elector" Micheal Baca won’t be prosecuted for voting against Hillary Clinton back in December.

Baca, one of Colorado’s nine original members of Colorado’s Electoral College, wrote in Ohio Governor John Kasich when electors met to vote at the state capitol. Protesters booed and yelled as Baca was replaced with a new elector for the vote on Dec. 19.

The vote was part of Baca’s failed attempt to rally enough electors around the country to deny Donald Trump the presidency. Voting against the popular vote in Colorado is against the law.

PREVIOUS: Colorado electors sue to vote against popular vote to keep Trump out of office

A statement from Coffman’s office said that rather than prosecute Baca, her office will instead attempt to work with the Secretary of State’s office to improve the law. The statement said these possible solutions include "providing for the automatic disqualification of an elector and the immediate substitution of an alternate elector by operation of law, and voting for alternate electors at the same time as electors."

However, the statement did not say how this is different than current practices. Raw video of the vote from December shows the SOS office disqualify Baca, select a new elector, swear in a new elector and take a new vote within minutes.

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Baca and other faithless electors brought their fight to court leading up to the electors’ meeting. Federal and state courts refused to allowed electors to go against the popular vote.

"I am disappointed by the decision not to prosecute the faithless elector who flagrantly violated his oath immediately after taking it," Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said.

"While it is true that we worked successfully with the political parties and the courts to stop his attempt to steal the votes of 2.9 million Coloradans, the decision not to prosecute leaves Coloradans without an assurance that future electors won’t hijack the will of millions of Colorado voters. I look forward to working with the attorney general to ensure enforcement in the future."

© 2017 KUSA-TV

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Denver is the capital of the American state Colorado. And there are a variety of wonderful facts about this city that you may not have known about. In this article, we will share with you 10 fun facts about Denver, Colorado.

1. The first person to trademark the cheeseburger, one Louis Ballast, lived in Denver.

2. Denver, Colorado is responsible for the brewing of more beer than any other location in the nation. In fact, over 200 varieties of beer are brewed on a daily basis.

3. The state capitol located in Denver is plated with actual 24K gold. The inside contains Colorado Rose Onyx, and the entire world’s supply went into the construction of the building.

4. Denver houses more baby boomers than any other city located in the United States.

5. Denver sits at the elevation of exactly one mile (5280 feet), earning the city the nickname of the Mile High City.

6. The famous Blue Mustang sculpture (which is slightly eerie in appearance anyway) is rumored to be cursed. The sculptor died in a freak accident after a piece of the sculpture itself fell on his leg and severed an artery. This fact has earned the sculpture nicknames such as, “Blucifer” and “Devil Horse.” Creepy, to say the least!

7. There are more marijuana dispensaries located in Denver than there are Starbucks stores in the city (marijuana is legal in Colorado).

8. The very first Chipotle Mexican Grill was established in the city of Denver, Colorado.

9. Denver enjoys, on average, 300 sunshine-filled days per year, making it one of the sunniest cities within the United States.

10. In the city of Denver, it is against the law to lend your neighbor your vacuum cleaner. Strange!

In conclusion, Denver is a wonderful and unique city full of fun facts. Use this list to impress your friends with what you know about the capital of Colorado.

Fans of the Denver Broncos set records with their attendance at training camp this year. It was an impressive show of support for the team, and not an uncommon theme. Broncos country is one of the best fanbases in the NFL. However, Broncos Country is a little uneasy right now.

There is a dark cloud over the franchise. Every report, tweet, or crow about the Broncos is met with fear, anger, arguments, and consternation. The reason for this uneasiness? The obvious football cliche that all franchises hope to avoid. If you have two quarterbacks, you actually have none.

There is an interesting phenomenon in football that Denver fans have been dealing with over the summer. With no true QB, every little issue seems like the end of the world. As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio podcast, not having a solid starter at the QB position makes everything else murky.

Just think back to August 12th. Derek Wolfe goes down with an injury, and Twitter blows up with the end of the season. Losing Wolfe would have been detrimental to the season, but the cloud of darkness crept in pretty quickly. Then Chris Harris Jr. seemed to tweek something. Nothing major, but the reaction on Twitter was deep fear and panic.

Derek Wolfe is not putting any weight on his right leg. Now being carted back to the main building. Awful news.

— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) August 12, 2017

The observation here is actually a simple one. There is a calming affect a starting QB has on a franchise. Imagine the reaction of Broncos Country during the Peyton Manning era. Yes, fans would have been unhappy. Yes, a small amount of panic may have set in. But no, it would not have been the apocalyptic scene of today’s fans.

At this point, the Broncos need a starting quarterback to simply act as a Xanax for the fans. Whether Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch is named the starter, the sooner it happens the better. It seems as if this will all be over soon. The second preseason game will be Lynch’s chance to impress the coaching staff. Siemian looks like he has done enough to retain the starting job for now. Of course, even after a starter is named everything could change.

Not only is the season far from over, it is far from started. If the last few weeks have been hard on your ticker, you may want to get some heart medication. Until the Broncos have the QB situation figured out, even the smallest blip will cause the sky to tumble. It might be time to buy an umbrella.

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