Alabama Football is coming off two emotional wins against quality opponents and SEC rivals in Tennessee and LSU. Both games were hard-fought victories, and also served as revenge games after the Vols and the Tigers edged by the Tide in 2022.
Coming off of this emotional high, how does Alabama Football avoid a letdown?
It does not have an easy game this week. Instead of a cupcake, Bama will go on the road to play a 6-3 Kentucky team in Lexington. The Wildcats have only lost to ranked opponents in Georgia, Missouri, and Tennessee, and will be hungry for an elusive signature win.
Frankly, Kentucky doesn’t match up well with Alabama. They lack the explosive offense necessary to score points against the Tide, and will rely heavily on running back Ray Davis and the ground game. The Cats do have some dangerous receivers, including Dane Key, Tayvion Robinson, and speedster Barion Brown, but quarterback Devin Leary has been unable to consistently distribute the ball to these weapons.
Still, Kentucky will be a solid defensive team and will be very physical in the trenches. Additionally, the Crimson Tide will have to get up for an 11 AM Central Time kickoff. Last time Bama played that early, it came out sleepwalking against Arkansas and had to hold on for a 24-21 win at home.
The mentality and culture of this team appears to be starkly different from what it was in 2021 and 2022. From the outside looking in, this group appears to be focused but loose.
Led by underdog quarterback Jalen Milroe, they have grown increasingly confident with every game. Instead of feeling the pressure of expectation, they are having fun. Perhaps more importantly, so is Coach Nick Saban.
This has been one of Saban’s most impressive coaching jobs ever, and he is clearly enjoying the process. I think he will have this Alabama Football team ready to go in Lexington, and I believe the Crimson Tide will avoid the dreaded trap game.