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’s big win showcases the depth of the Crimson Tide 

CW/ Riley Thompson
Alabama running back Jam Miller (#26) breaks through against Chattanooga.

More than ever before, the depth of the Crimson Tide football team was on full display this Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium.  

Earlier this season, the nation saw Alabama struggle against a small University of South Florida team, barely squeaking out a 17-3 win. With Chattanooga, another small opponent, traveling to Tuscaloosa this weekend, there was question whether the team would handle its business or play down to the other team’s level, as it did in Tampa mid-September.  

The two games varied completely in their outcomes. The Crimson Tide handled the visiting Chattanooga Mocs without any real problem.In a week like this, heading into the end of the season and the postseason, this matchup against Chattanooga fully puts the team’s development on display, deeper than just the starting lineup.  

After the Crimson Tide won 66-10, head coach Nick Saban talked about the development of the team and the effort it put forth in practice.  

“It is always the goal that your team grows and develops,” Saban said. “Obviously, I think that this team started sort of not like we wanted. But I think that a lot of guys have made a huge difference in the development of this team.” 

Starting in the second half, Saban decided to pull many starters and play some younger, more inexperienced players, including redshirt freshman Ty Simpson, who stepped in as quarterback.  

This is the third game of the season in which Simpson has gotten significant playing time. He stepped in for redshirt sophomore Tyler Buchner against South Florida, rallying the Crimson Tide to an ugly win. He also played most of the fourth quarter against Kentucky, sealing a victory.  

Like Milroe, Simpson has shown improvement in the little time he has had behind center.  

Today, Simpson went 4-6, throwing the ball for 50 yards. He also ran the ball one time for 78 yards, the longest Crimson Tide rushing play of the season.  

However, what looked like a surefire touchdown turned into a first and goal for the Crimson Tide offense, as Simpson dropped the ball before crossing the goal line, resulting in a fumble.  

The area where the Crimson Tide showed the most depth, however, was at the running back position.  

The ground game dominated, with multiple different running backs getting into the game and getting their time to shine. The Crimson Tide’s leading rusher was Simpson with one 78-yard carry, followed by sophomore Jamarion Miller with 77 yards on six carries. Several different ball carriers also found the end zone today. Four different running backs scored at least a touchdown, resulting in five rushing touchdowns for the Crimson Tide offense.  

So far this season, the Crimson Tide has relied on seniors Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams to carry the rushing load. Today, Miller, freshman Justice Haynes and freshman Richard Young all found the end zone.  

Saban said Haynes’ performance stood out during the game. 

“Justice is a really good player,” Saban said. “He probably has not gotten as many opportunities as we would have liked for him to because of the depth of that position. I was very pleased with the way he played; he made an outstanding run for a touchdown at the end of the game.”  

Of course, the run game relies heavily on the offensive line, but the Crimson Tide offensive line did not let up until the final whistle blew. With so many different players having solid rushing games, it is safe to say the future of the Crimson Tide’s rushing offense is safe.  

The depth goes beyond the running back position. Younger players got time at every position.  

Saban talked about the importance of getting lots of newer, younger players into more games.  

“We got to play a lot of players,” Saban said. “A lot of these guys, they work hard all year long and they do not get a lot of positive self-gratification. Some of them do not even dress for games. Always happy to be able to do that.”  

The Alabama Crimson Tide dominated the Chattanooga Mocs, a win it will build off of all week in practice as it prepares for the Iron Bowl next Saturday.  

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