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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Top-ranked Alabama will be without several starters as it attempts to improve to 3-0 against Colorado State on Saturday night. Starting cornerbacks Deion Belue and Jarrick Williams, backup safety Nick Perry and backup wideout Kevin Norwood, who started 11 games last season, are all out with injuries.
The secondary will be hit especially hard as Belue, Williams and Perry comprise the majority of Alabama's experience on the back end of the defense. Coach Nick Saban will instead turn to a handful of inexperienced players against former offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, who took over as CSU's coach following the 2011 national championship.
"Whether it be John Fulton, Bradley Sylve, Cyrus Jones and two freshmen, we're letting all of those guys compete," Saban said on Wednesday, the two freshmen likely being Maurice Smith and Eddie Jackson, who have garnered the most reps during practice. "And at the end of the week we'll see which one of those guys can play the best, and those are the guys we'll put out there in the game."
Belue is day to day with a turf toe injury, and Williams was ruled out with a "serious eye issue," Saban said during a pregame radio interview.
Norwood, who scored a touchdown during last week's game against Texas A&M, has been hampered by injuries for much of the season, dealing with recurring foot pain before injuring his ankle against the Aggies.