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

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama football set to close out home slate against Chattanooga 

CW / Elijah McWhorter
Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe (#4) runs with the ball as tight end Amari Niblack (#84) covers.

With Thanksgiving next week, one must make sure to save room for dessert after a big meal or a big win, perhaps a cupcake? Or, in Alabama football’s case, a cupcake game. The Crimson Tide will face Chattanooga this preholiday weekend for the first time since 2016 and is aiming for another sweet victory.  

Alabama head coach Nick Saban seems to be taking this game as seriously as the rest of them, however, and is gearing his team up for the long haul. 

“If you’re going to peak at the right time, you can’t have peaks and valleys, you need to keep going in the right direction,” Saban said.  

Although Alabama is closing out its home games to a non-SEC team, the focus and drive must still be on Chattanooga. Saban believes this matchup is crucial in keeping his team in the right mindset in order to not lose momentum for the games that will follow.   

“For our team, this is either a game that you focus on correctly, you go out and practice and prepare correctly, and you build on the momentum that you’ve improved with over the last weeks and that helps you get better for what’s coming up in the future,” Saban said. “So if you don’t do that, you don’t have a good showing, you sort of lose your rhythm.” 

The last time these teams played against each other seven years ago. The final score was 31-3, Alabama win. The Crimson Tide was ranked No. 1 at the time, and Jalen Hurts was the quarterback. Now, Alabama is ranked No. 8, but is still expected to perform a clean game against the Mocs for its ninth straight win heading into the Iron Bowl.  

The offensive line especially has been a work in progress this season, but lineman Seth McLaughlin assured fans that things are getting better. 

“Inaccurate snaps have cleaned up a little bit,” McLaughlin said. “It’s still a thing I’m still trying to work on. Just putting an emphasis on how important it is to get the ball in Milroe’s hands to let him go to work and do what he’s so good at.” 

Chattanooga currently ranks third in the Southern conference of the Football Champion Subdivision, behind Furman and Mercer. Mocs quarterback Chase Artopoeus’ season high of 399 passing yards against Western Carolina passing yards is actually higher than Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe’s season high, which is 321 passing yards against Texas A&M.  

Both teams also hold two of the top pass rushers in their specific leagues. Alabama has linebackers Chris Braswell and Dallas Turner, who both have seven sacks this season, tied for third in the SEC. Chattanooga has edge rusher Jay Person, who’s tied for first in the Southern Conference with 7 1/2 sacks, and defensive end Ben Brewton has seven.  

Although Nick Saban may have captured the minds of many of his players, his better half, Terry Saban, has captured their hearts. One player in particular being defensive back Terrion Arnold, who had a video of him running to hug Terry Saban go viral after the Texas A&M game.  

“She provides advice to everyone,” Braswell said. “Terrion might have a closer relationship with her than everybody else, but I mean she’s great. She loves everybody, you know, just as well as Terrion.” 

Alabama looks to finish its regular season home slate with a win Saturday at 11 a.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.  

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