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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Milroe named QB1 as No. 13 Alabama football hopes to bounce back in SEC opener against No. 15 Ole Miss

CW Archive
Alabama running back Jase McClellan carries the ball in Alabama football’s Nov. 12, 2022, game against Ole Miss in Oxford, MS.

This week, Alabama football fell to No. 13 in the AP poll, breaking an eight-year streak of consecutive top-10 rankings (a total of 128 polls in the top 10). This season has seen one of the rougher opens in recent history, but on Saturday, the Crimson Tide begins its attempt to set its season back on track with a home game against No. 15 Ole Miss.  

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said the first three games of the season were a chance to evaluate this year’s Alabama team and, as the SEC opener, this Saturday will be a good time to put it all to the test.  

“Ole Miss is a really, really good team. Lane [Kiffin] has done a great job there with the program,” Saban said. “It’s one of the best offensive teams in the country in terms of things that they do, multiples that they have, the way their players are coached and how they execute.” 

The good news is that defense was one of the few highlights in Alabama’s last outing against South Florida. The Crimson Tide held the Bulls to just 3 points and sacked their quarterback four times, led by linebacker Dallas Turner’s 2.5. Defensive back Malachi Moore said the key to the defense this weekend will be matching the Rebels’ fast-tempo offense.  

“Everybody has to be urgent in getting set up,” Moore said. “We don’t have that much time to celebrate when we make a tackle or big play like that.” 

The Crimson Tide defense will need to put in extra work this weekend against a running back room led by sophomore Quinshon Judkins, last season’s SEC Freshman of the Year. The sophomore has been struggling through some injuries, but is expected to play on Saturday.  

On Alabama’s offense, the quarterback battle has been decided; redshirt sophomore Jalen Milroe is Saban’s QB1. Although Milroe didn’t see any playing time against South Florida, his teammates said he was still establishing himself as a leader on the team.   

“He always stays involved, and he’s been doing a really great job at that,” wide receiver Jermaine Burton said. “As long as he continues to do that, I think he’s going to be a great leader.” 

 Saban said he’s noticed Milroe’s vocal leadership as well.  

“His energy has been good, his attitude has been great, and the execution on the field has been good,” Saban said.  

Although Milroe has put up some impressive numbers in both the passing and running games in his two starts, his true potential cannot be determined until the offensive line becomes more consistent. Saban said consistency has been a huge focus in practices leading up to Saturday. 

“That’s the key to the drill to me: Can we, on a consistent basis, have the kind of focus and mental intensity we need to develop the habits that will carry over into the game that will help us play with more consistency?” Saban said.  

Ole Miss is an intimidating opponent in itself; however, most people are looking at this weekend as a deciding factor as to who can be at the top of the SEC West. Alabama has not been playing to its standard these first three games of the season, and a win against Ole Miss could place faith in the notion that Alabama still has what it takes to be at the top of the conference.  

Alabama and Ole Miss kick off in Bryant-Denny Stadium at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will be broadcast on CBS. 

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