Alabama Football has an opportunity on Saturday that has little to do with winning a football game. The Crimson Tide will win and it will likely win convincingly.
No disrespect is intended for the Chattanooga Mocs. They are a good FCS team, posting a 7-3 record. Even if many of the Mocs play the best games of their careers, it will not be enough. As a team, the Mocs just do not have the size, speed, or skill of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
For Alabama Football, winning style points in the victory doesn’t much matter. A four-touchdown win will be enough. Hopefully, the winning margin will be greater with the Crimson Tide’s second and third-unit players contributing significantly.
The game can be the first real opportunity for young and less experienced players to make ‘stand-out’ performances in a game. Certain players come to mind as those Crimson Tide fans are hoping to see shine on Saturday.
Listed below are 15 of those ‘certain’ players and one backup position group. The list could easily be longer with the Crimson Tide bench so deep in talent.
Alabama Football Offense
Early in the third quarter, Jalen Milroe retiring to the bench would give Ty Simpson and Dylan Lonergan the most potential snaps in their Alabama careers. It is important for Simpson to work with the first-unit offensive line for a couple of series. Dylan Lonergan also needs meaningful game action. Lonergan is one snap away from suddenly being QB2.
The Tide’s two freshmen running backs, Justice Haynes and Richard Young should get considerable work against the Mocs. Among the backup wide receivers, it would be great to see production from Jalen Hale, Cole Adams, and Emmanuel Henderson Jr. Adams has only played in one game, and Henderson, having been hampered by injuries is in his second season in Tuscaloosa, has only one career reception.
Rounding out what to look for on offense is the entire second-unit offensive line, especially Miles McVay who is reported to already be one of the Tide’s most powerful offensive linemen.
Alabama Crimson Tide Defense
There is such an abundance of defensive talent in the Tide roster, 16-18 players could be highlighted. Instead, the list is pared down to eight potential Crimson Tide stars.
On the defensive line, one name pops out, former 5-Star James Smith. Smith has been in the rotation some this season. It would be great to see his snaps double or triple on Saturday.
Four names at outside linebacker are Keon Keeley, Jeremiah Alexander, Keanu Koht, and Qua Russaw. There has been talk of Alexander moving to inside linebacker, but for now, consider him as part of this quartet of formidable edge rushers. At inside linebacker, JUCO transfer Justin Jefferson has had a quiet season, but his skill set is a good fit for the offense used by the Mocs.
In the secondary, two probable, future starting cornerbacks could see game action on Saturday. During spring and most of fall camp. numerous reports of strong performances came out about Earl Little II and Antonio Kite.
One young player I don’t want to see on Saturday is Conor Talty. Maybe Talty can handle kickoffs, but Will Reichard deserves every PAT and Field Goal attempt.