Alabama had their hands full Saturday night with a scrappy Mississippi State squad that gave the Crimson Tide all they could handle for four quarters. In the end, Alabama walked out of Davis Wade Stadium with a 20-7 victory, and the understanding that they didn’t play the game Alabama football the way they wanted to. The good news should be that this team is focused on Chattanooga and Auburn, and won’t let anyone stick around when they shouldn’t.
For last week’s predictions, we nailed that the Bulldogs would stay under 300 yards of offense (gaining 197 total) and correctly picked CJ Mosley to lead the Crimson Tide defense on the day (finishing with 8 tackles and a FF), but nothing else came as easy as I thought it might, as TJ Yeldon ran for 160 yards Saturday night but that took the load away from Kenyan Drake who ended up with only 28 yards rushing, Alabama failed to cover the 19.5 point spread that Nick Saban had averaged against the Bulldogs, and the 20-7 victory was very different from the 45-10 victory I predicted.
Senior day rolls around in Tuscaloosa as the Crimson Tide will say farewell to the likes of AJ McCarron, Kellen Williams, Matt Tinney, Ed Stinson, Anthony Steen, Ty Reed, Nick Perry, Tana Patrick, Kevin Norwood, CJ Mosley, Cody Mandel, John Fulton, Cade Foster, Deion Belue, Kenny Bell, and Tyler Bass. The Chattanooga Mocs also roll into town albeit a huge underdog and highly outmatched despite their # 18 ranking in the latest FCS poll.
Senior Day for AJ McCarron. He’s already a legend in my book but how is he going to finish up? In his last game against an FCS opponent McCarron hit an astounding 93 percent of his passes to go along with 4 touchdowns. Does McCarron finish his last game at BDS completing at least 80 percent of his passes?
I will say yes. McCarron won’t need to be flashy to hit the open man against an overmatched Moc squad, and with seniors like Kenny Bell and Kevin Norwood looking to show off in their last home game AJ can probably hit the short passes and watch them run.
Does any Alabama running back gain more than 100 yards on the ground Saturday afternoon?
I’m going to say no, and not because the Crimson Tide can’t, but because they (hopefully) won’t need to. In the win against FCS Georgia State, you saw 7 players combine for 30 rushes with no one gaining more than 50 yards. As a team, the Crimson Tide pounded out 181 yards on the day and I think you can expect a similar result here as Nick Saban will try and get everyone touches.
After an uncharacteristic 4 turnovers against Mississippi State, do the Crimson Tide players handle the ball better? How many turnovers do they have on the day?
Absolutely Alabama will hold on to the ball better than they did last Saturday. I’m going to say that the Crimson Tide offense will not turn the ball over at all on Saturday.
Kenny Bell or Kevin Norwood: which Crimson Tide wide receiver finishes the day with more catches and yards?
In the final home game of their careers, I’d look for Kevin Norwood to continue what he has done all year long, and that is make plays when the offense needs them. He’s had a touchdown in 4/5 five games and I’d look for that trend to continue here.
Play maker on defense not named CJ Mosley?
It’s a foregone conclusion in my mind that CJ Mosley is going to once again lead this team in tackles in his last home game. Which Crimson Tide player not named CJ Mosley will have a huge impact on Saturdays game? Look for Freshman Trey Depriest to have another big day from the linebacker spot where he wound up with 6 tackles last week.
Alabama 52 Chattanooga 3