Alabama Football: Final fall camp scrimmage may be different

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Alabama football will have its second and last full scrimmage of fall camp Saturday afternoon. This fall camp and the scrimmage are different from the past.

Much is always learned about players during the last scrimmage of fall camp. For most positions, the scrimmage will determine who the Alabama football staff wlll invest in for the most future practice reps. The change is driven by a time management reality. Development of all players will be maintained but within a couple of days, practice reps must be apportioned.

Next week’s game-week depth chart will be more fluid than normal. At inside linebacker, and in the trenches, players will continue to battle for at least a few weeks. No disrespect intended to Duke, but the Alabama football staff can afford to be patient until mid-September or later if it so chooses.

Given there is limited competition for many starting slots, Saturday’s scrimmage should not be filled with drama. In fact, the biggest concern on Saturday will be to get through it without any new or worsened injuries.

Specific areas for scrutiny on Saturday

Alabama football fans want to hear about strong performances from at least two inside linebackers, other than Dylan Moses. Markail Benton appears to currently have the lead to start next to Moses. How he plays and how well two potential backups perform is important.

Coming off injuries, neither D.J. Dale or LaBryan Ray should see much action Saturday. It would not be shocking if both are held out. Phidarian Mathis, Justin Eboigbe and Christian Barmore have opportunities to push themselves forward as regular rotators in the two-deep. Crimson Tide fans will be interested to learn how Ishmael Sopsher and Byron Young’s conditioning hold up.

At the end of Saturday, it should be known if there is a close battle for quarterback No. 2. Numerous recent reports are Mac Jones has had a strong camp. If Taulia Tagovailoa is going to push Mac for practice reps and playing time, he needs to stand out during the scrimmage.

Given Deonte Brown’s suspension and both Chris Owen and Matt Womack being nicked up recently, the interior of the offensive line will not be solidified on Saturday. Not including Brown, five guys will continue to compete for the three, guard and center slots. Owens, Womack, Emil Ekiyor, Evan Neal and Lance Dickerson appear to have equal chances of starting in week one.

Alabama football fans will also be hoping for another strong scrimmage by kicker (and maybe punter) Will Reichard. Joseph Bulovas and Skyler DeLong will continue to battle the true freshman.

Next. A little perspective heading into the season. dark

The scrimmage is scheduled for 12:30 PM. A large number of invited guests will be watching.