MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — In its most recent game, Alabama yielded seven sacks—several of those coming over and around All-American left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio.

Ben Queen/WVMetroNews

West Virginia defensive end Shaquille Riddick could be matched up against Alabama freshman left tackle Cam Robinson.

With Kouandjio leaving school early to become a second-round NFL pick, the Crimson Tide knew it would be breaking in a new starter. But the odds on breaking in a true freshman at the spot were daunting.

Enter Cam Robinson, the highly prized recruit who appears destined to start Saturday’s season opener against West Virginia.

At 6-foot-6, 323 pounds and blessed with long arms, Robinson was the crowning piece in Alabama’s top-ranked recruiting class last February. He enrolled for spring semester and developed rapidly, working his way up the depth chart and repping with the first-team offensive line throughout preseason camp.

Yes, he looks like a beast with a brilliant future, but how reliable will he be on opening day? He’s likely to be tested by three seniors from the West Virginia—defensive ends Shaq Riddick and Dontrill Hyman, along with Will linebacker Brandon Golson. Then there’s junior Edward Muldrow, another pass-rushing linebacker who could create problems with his speed off the edge.

For more on how the Mountaineers might attack Robinson, check out the video above.

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  • bamaman

    Big Cam plays against the best front seven in college football everyday...

    • Diaspora

      Alabama is in for a game and will have their work cut out for them, that you can count on bamafan. There is too much at stake for us to take this as anything less than the biggest game with the biggest implications in recent WVU football history. As you may have ascertained, the implications are huge, win or lose. That is why I think WVU will win this game. 38 - 35. The key names you will hear is Karl Joseph, Wendell Smallwood, Mario Alford, Daryl Worley, Brandon Golson, and lest we forget, Clint Trickett, who will run for 50 yds + on top of 400 yds + passing.

      • bamaman

        This marks the fifth straight year Alabama's been favored by double digits in its season opener. It's won by no fewer than 25 in its past four.

        • Jim

          Yeah, but Alabama has been opening up with cupcake teams the last few years, and yes, so has WVU. This is going to be a better match up than most have imagine.

      • bamaman

        You are going to be so disappointed..

  • FNP

    Bama will always be run first. The 3-3-5 is a run stopper and we proved that when we ran that system. Look for WVU to try and make Bama one dimensional and force a new QB make some big throws. We have got to protect the ball and win the field position battle. If we do these two things then we'll be in great position in the 4th Q to win this game. Our kids have to come into this game with a NC game mentality.

    • SECorBust

      You are going to think run stopper until Bama lines up in a 7 man front.

      That is not even correct. The 3-3-5 is regarded as a different take on the nickel defense and is regarded for it's blitz packages and use against spread teams. It's not a great defense against power running teams. WVUs biggest defender, NT Rose is 294. We have 300lb DEs.

      For WVU to stay in this game they must get turnovers and score, a lot. I would reccomend getting to the edge with sweeps screens while keeping the D honest with throws downfield. Good luck. ;)

      • Aaron

        Those 7 men still have to block and the advantage to a 3-3-5 is that 4 of those 7 who line up front have to find someone smaller and quicker to block. If they do and are able to run a power game, Bama will win.

        But if WVU manages to match Bama in scoring or gets up by a score or two and can force an up-tempo game, that doesn't fare well for a team with a new QB and two new linemen, no matter the number of stars they held coming into the program.

        There are plenty of examples of this type of game, none more exciting (from a Mountaineer perspective) than the win over Oklahoma in 82. The exception to that game might be the victory over GA at the Dome.

        Could a combination of history repeat itself??? One never knows...I'm just hoping for a good game.

    • Aaron

      I said last week the punter very well could be the MVP of this game for that very reason.

  • Impatient

    WVU fans: "Daddy, are we there yet?"

    Georgia Dome: "No, but you'll be the first to know when we do!"

  • TD

    Just like Texas A&M, Auburn and Oklahoma the fast paced offensive attack of WVU will haven Saban crying once again to the powers that be the NCAA to slow down the game it's not fair. Final: WVU 75 ALA 17!

    Let's go Mountaineers!

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    It's time to get it on and play the game , is it Sat yet ?

  • any major dude

    Nobody wants us to win in Saturday as much as I do.

    So they have a freshman left tackle. I just don't see where that gives us an advantage in the overall picture because:
    1) UA will run the ball primarily so maybe the question should be whether he can run block
    2) he's surrounded by a more experienced and plenty talented OL
    3) he may be the most talented and physically sized lineman on the field, and
    4) we're starting not one but two freshman at both offensive tackle positions, neither of one were as highly recruited as Robinson.

    • mineralcounty

      Pretty sure pankey is a rs soph and lucas a rs jr.

  • lee

    Do you really think WV has a chance ? You people should lay off the shine and mary jane.

    • Ole Sasquatch

      Holgorsen is on a short fuse, if he really blows this one, well let's say the talk will start early. You know it has been rumored that Rich don't like the hot weather in Arizona and is Don Nehlen really that old?
      We know that Louisville signed their old Coach (Bobby Petrino) again. It just maybe that Rich and WVU are the perfect match even though it's hard for us to get along with each other.
      Why do I bring this up so early? I just haven't been able to reconcile falling off the cliff at the end of the last 2 seasons in a row. In all honesty it maybe a matter of all our coaches maturity.

      • Aaron

        The only talk that matters is Oliver Luck and the likelihood that he listens to any media or us yayhoo's who post online are equal to William making an intelligent comment which means not very. This game will not determine the fate of Dana Holgorsen. The season will.

    • Capt. Obvious

      We already have one team in the state that plays a pansy room for another.

      How much do we make win or lose? $3million?

      • Sam

        You do realize that in terms of PROFIT, Luck has stated the Bama game will bring in roughly the same as a home game.

        You do also realize that were not some piddly FCS school that has to travel for a money game to make ends meet?

        Do you grasp that the objective should be to make money in order to field a high level winning program, and not to field a program with a primary goal of making money?

        Money is a means to an end not the end.

        That said, when we scheduled this game we didn't do it for a pay day. We did it because we still thought we would be good when we agreed to play Bama and viewed it as an opportunity for a high profile win that would elp us in the rankings.

        Some day we will again need to worry about SOS and our position in the rankings, and not rationalize butt whippings by claiming they were good business decisions.

        I believe the sooner Holgorsen is gone, the sooner those days will return.

        • Mister Man

          You're funny.


    look for Alabama to run right behind him.... the best way to utilize a man of mountain like this true freshman, is to let him do what he does best and that is pancake the guy in front of him.....

    330 going against our 230 is really going to test the size of the fight of the dog theory.....

    I hope WVU is ready to fight !


    • Aaron

      You counter that by lining the DE off the outside shoulder of the tackle and force him to find a LB as the DE rushes and or contains outside. You confuse the OT by stunting LB's and DB's in hopes of seeing him thinking first. There's no doubt this man will be an NFL player so WVU is getting him at the best possible time. How they act and he responds very well could be the difference in the game.

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Saturday Alabama will run the ball 80% of the time in the first half. Unless they get behind by a lot they will continue to run the ball 80% of the time. You beat a Holgorsen team by playing ball control and keeping our offense off the field - of course they know that and are preparing for it. Our QB and running backs are ready to play if they get average to better help from our offensive line - we will be in the ballgame. Our most valuable player of the game will be our field goal kicker. Ole Sasquatch's prediction ( what you all have been waiting for) : WVU 38 Alabama 35.

    • Mojo

      This is precisely why WVU needs to have 8 in the box almost all game and (hopefully) force Alabama to throw the ball.

      • Aaron

        I think the key to WVU's success will be not in how many they line up in the box but how many they actually send, where they are sending them from and how well the two are disguised.

      • Ole Sasquatch

        That might work, but we need to disguise it.
        Of course if they spread - we have to cover.

  • Country Roads

    They "Alabama" can only play 11 players on every snap, and the same for WVU.....As young as the season is we will all be healthy and depth on every position.....WVU gets into the hurry up offense which will bet Alabama...... No fourth quarter let down this game..... With Tom Bradley on this team he is good enough for two victories alone this year and the Alabama game is the first one..... We have a healthy quarterback,,,,, we have depth all the way around,,, we have speed and plenty of it in the backfield,,,,,= WVU VICTORY....

  • Tomgone12

    Allan - rare to start frosh at left tackle and for Bama to do so you know he kid is really good and likley living up to his #1 billing. Usually footwork and timing is a problem for a freshman on the O line . Creates a really interesting matchup as you pointed out. Will the speed of the game matter at all and be exploited by the likes of Shaq R? You gotta believe Gibby and Bradley are well aware of this potential vulnerable spot and poised to exploit it. Likewise Saban and Kiffin would counter with doubl teaming, stunts, and who knows what...screens to the void off of the blitzing . Cant wait to see if both new coaching and new All American talent can be effective to the blind side of what an 18 or 19 year old on a big stage in his first game. Wouldnt 2 sacks, more than a few hurries and a forced fumble be a great for he confidence of this D line to start he season all due to the distruption at this position!

  • Billy

    He may be good but we have too many talented players coming after him down after down so he is bound to break down. Not to mention he will be confused with the different looks we will have on defense. Go WV!!!

    • Tim C

      OMG........I hope so.