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: Thanksgiving gifts and holiday wish list 

CW/ Natalie Teat
Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe (#4) during a play in the Iron Bowl on Nov. 25 in Auburn, Ala.

This season of Crimson Tide football has been one of the most enjoyable and unique seasons anyone has seen under Nick Saban. There have been some high highs and some low lows, but this season has given Alabama fans plenty of gifts to be thankful for. 

Rejuvenated hope is one gift that has been provided. 

After the Texas loss on Sept. 9, the mood and hype around Alabama football deflated and left a sour taste in many fans’ mouths. It was the first home loss in over three seasons, and some were wondering if Saban had lost his touch. 

Ever since this loss, though, the team has rebounded mightily. After struggling on the road against South Florida, the team has had a brand-new identity, winning every game on. 

Every game has had a different feel to it. Some have felt like defensive masterpieces, such as the Ole Miss game. Some have involved thrilling comebacks, like the Tennessee game. Others have been just plain enjoyment, such as the LSU and Auburn games. 

With a spot in the SEC championship against Georgia clinched, Alabama fans hope the team continues to ride its momentum to hopefully shoot itself into the College Football Playoff. 

One of the main reasons for the team’s turnaround is quarterback Jalen Milroe, who himself has turned into a gift. Ever since the Texas loss and benching against South Florida, Milroe has genuinely looked like a Heisman-caliber quarterback. 

Against Texas, Milroe threw two killer interceptions that seemingly stalled all momentum that the team had. The week after, head coach Nick Saban benched Milroe to test out backup quarterbacks Ty Simpson and Tyler Buchner, with poor results. 

As a result, Milroe was named the starter again for the Ole Miss game and has not looked back. Since the Texas game, Milroe has thrown only four interceptions over the span of eight games. 

Milroe’s recent call to grace was the game against Auburn, in which he threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns, including the 31-yard dot to wide receiver Isaiah Bond on fourth and goal with 32 seconds left to take the lead. This throw and catch will live in Alabama football legend for life. 

If Milroe can keep this up, he can lead the team to a win over Georgia in the SEC championship and punch a ticket to the College Football Playoffs. In the longer term, he has a very good chance to win the Heisman Trophy next season. 

The team has seemed to build, gel and grow stronger each week. One area that is a great gift compared with the performance of last year has been defense. 

Alabama lost two regular-season games last season, to Tennessee and LSU. Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker and LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels carved the defense, led by now-Ole Miss defensive coordinator Pete Golding, apart. The defense allowed 49 points to Tennessee and 32 points to LSU, even with the offense doing everything they could to win the game. 

Compared with last year, Alabama has seen a ton of improvement this season. The team’s defense has not allowed more than 28 points in an SEC game this season, and the only team it allowed more than 21 to was Daniels’ LSU, but once again, Daniels is a frontrunner in the Heisman race this year. 

Overall, even though the start was rough to say the least, this Alabama team has been extremely fun to watch grow and gel week by week. The team still has all its goals ahead of it, including a trip to the SEC championship and a trip to either the playoffs or a high-tier bowl game. 

The Alabama fan base is thankful for its gifts this holiday season, but a brief yet loaded wish list remains: an SEC championship win, a playoff invite and a national championship. However, after how dire the situation felt on Sept. 9, most fans would likely be happy with a bowl game win as well. 

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