Alabama Football: Tide fans want to see backups against Mercer

Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Tim Smith (50) and linebacker Chris Braswell (41) Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Tim Smith (50) and linebacker Chris Braswell (41) Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

It is not easy to get pumped when Alabama Football plays an FCS team. On Saturday there will be the joy of a new home season. The return to full Bryant-Denny capacity will please fans. What can provide the most excitement for Crimson Tide fans is seeing numerous backup players get meaningful snaps.

Nick Saban normally does not begin liberal substitutions until the second half of such games. There might be a slightly different approach on Saturday with rotational groups like the defensive line, outside linebacker and wide receiver.

Alabama Football backups Tide fans want to see against Mercer

This list is broken down by position groups. It includes first year and second year players, and in one case,  a third-year player.


Crimson Tide fans know Paul Tyson needs more game experience and not just at handing the ball off. It would be good to see Tyson have one or two series with the first unit. Tide fans are also anxious to see more of Jalen Milroe.

Offensive Line

Many fans respect Chris Owens for the leadership he has brought to the program. He also filled in well at center, when Landon Dickerson went down near the end of last season. There is doubt about his ability to excel at right tackle. Many Alabama fans want to see J.C. Latham get action with the first unit Saturday. Also, getting snaps for Damieon George Jr. would please Tide fans.

Wide Receiver

Several less experienced wide receivers draw the interest of Tide fans. More snaps for JoJo Earle at slot receiver and returning punts would be great. Seeing more action from Javon Baker, Ja’Corey Brooks, plus Agiye Hall and Christian Leary will excite Tide fans.

Outside Linebacker

Number one on the minds of Alabama football fans is replacements for Chris Allen. Drew Sanders is expected to get the start. Fans hope to see plenty of Chris Braswell and Dallas Turner as well.

Inside Linebacker

The future at inside linebacker is bright for the Crimson Tide. Fans are especially interested in more snaps Saturday for Deontae Lawson and Kendrick Blackshire.

Defensive Line

More rotation on the defensive line is expected Saturday. Tim Smith,  Jah-Marien Latham and Jamil Burroughs saw limited action against Miami. Seeing that trio get more snaps, along with the first career snaps for Monkell Goodwine would be good.

Defensive Backfield

Even without DeMarcco Hellams, the secondary was a strength for the Tide against Miami. Alabama football fans have high hopes for JUCO transfer, Khyree Jackson, freshman Terrion Arnold and sophomore Kristian Story. Higher than hopes are the expectations for Kool-Aid McKinstry. It would be great for all four to get more than mop-up duty on Saturday.

Next. Eight other interesting week two games for Tide fans. dark

Many other, so-far little-used players could have been included in this post. The depth of talent on this Alabama Football roster is stunning.