Alabama Football: New-look Crimson Tide prepared to deliver top performance

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

A roster-thinned Alabama football team will look to show the new-look Tide is capable of top performance minus Tua Tagovailoa.

Alabama football will have more fresh faces than Mac Jones competing on Saturday. Injury and transfers have thinned the Crimson Tide roster. Beyond the loss of Tua Tagovailoa, the Crimson Tide is expected to play against Western Carolina with five other starters out, plus a key backup.

Among the missing starters, LaBryan Ray is believed to be out for the season. Newly injured starters, Raekwon Davis, D. J. Dale and Henry Ruggs III, along with previously injured Will Reichard are expected to be unavailable on Saturday. Also, another key defensive lineman often used in the Tide’s rotation, Phidarian Mathis is not expected to play.

The Crimson Tide went into the season with 12 defensive linemen. It will play with just seven on Saturday. Two of those seven will be true freshmen, Braylen Ingraham and Ishmael Sopsher. Ingraham has played in one game, against Ole Miss. Sopsher has seen no game action.

Nick Saban commented on the inexperienced defensive players.

"Well, we’ll see. We’ll see how they’re playing. They’re all getting an opportunity to play this week and they’re getting a lot of reps in practice. I’m not disappointed. Their effort has been good. They’re trying to learn.… we’re going to have a few of those guys who are going to have to fill in in this game, and this will be a good opportunity for them.And I’m kind of anxious to see how they respond, to be honest with you."

More Alabama football roster news this week included the transfer portal entry of freshman, cornerback Scooby Carter. Carter was suspended last week, reportedly for missing classes. On the positive side, Ale Kaho is now able to play without a cast on his wrist. In surprise news, the Tide will seek a medical redshirt for Josh McMillon. If it is granted, McMillon could return for his sixth season in 2020.

Other exciting news for Crimson Tide fans is the next phase of Bryant-Denny renovation will begin on Monday. The coming round of work has a $92.5M price tag and is guaranteed to be complete before the start of the 2020 home season on Sept. 12.

For those who missed it – there was a national voice of gloom-and-doom this week.

Neuheisel is an entertaining guy and the setting must be considered. He was speaking to the Knoxville Quarterback Club. Scripted for maximum effect, Neuheisel was apparently only commenting about this season’s Playoff final four teams.

Next. We predict Mac Jones will be much better than expected. dark

In Thursday night news, Nick Saban said on his weekly radio show, Taulia Tagovailoa is officially QB2. Any past thoughts of redshirting Lia went away when Tua went down. The younger Tagovailoa will play on Saturday.