Alabama does have to deal with a hiccup heading into the opener.
Well, at least the Crimson Tide hopes it's a hiccup.
Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram won't be in the Alabama backfield Saturday. The school confirmed Tuesday that Ingram suffered a knee injury in practice Monday and had surgery Tuesday morning.
It's not known how long he will be out. The school issued a statement in which coach Nick Saban said very little.
"Mark Ingram sustained a left knee injury late in Monday's practice. It was a situation where everyone involved thought it would be better to take care of now, so he would not have any issues with it later in the season.This is hardly a disastrous development for Alabama. It is a heavy favorite against the Spartans, and it's not like it has a shabby fallback plan to Ingram.
"Mark had an arthroscopic procedure this morning with Dr. Cain and Dr. Andrews and it was successful. We have full confidence in our medical staff and we know the doctors and athletic trainers will do an outstanding job in taking care of Mark and assisting him in his rehab.
"Mark will definitely be out for this week's game against San Jose State and we will manage this on a week to week basis beyond this week."
Sophomore Trent Richardson is one of the better young backs in the country, and it's expected he will start and carry a heavy load early in Saturday's game. Richardson ran for 750 yards as a backup in his freshman season, flashing some real athletic ability.
Things get tougher next week for Alabama, when Penn State visits Tuscaloosa on Sept. 11. It's unknown whether Ingram will be able to return for that game.