Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide football team are coming off an impressive road win over the Kentucky Wildcats and will now shift their focus to the Chattanooga Mocs for their final home game of the 2023 regular season.
Now that the Tide have clinched the SEC West and their spot in Atlanta for the SEC Championship, Alabama needs a strong finish to the regular season to bolster their standings in the rankings.
While this week’s matchup against the Mocs will not garner a lot of national attention, the Tide needs to play well and prove to the College Football Playoff Committee that they are worthy of consideration.
Let’s now look at some of the top storylines that we will be watching leading up to Alabama’s home finale against Chattanooga.
Avoiding the rat poison
Alabama is playing well and the media is starting to sing their praise. Now is not the time to become complacent and soak in the “rat poison”. The Crimson Tide need to prepare this week as if their entire season rode on the outcome of this game. If they do that, they will be just fine.
Style points matter
Fair or not, style points this weekend are important for the Tide. Just winning will not be enough, Alabama needs to dominate and win convincingly. So if given the opportunity to run the score up, the Tide better take advantage of it.
Defending Chattanooga's three weapons at wide receiver
The Mocs have a trio of wide receivers that have put up some impressive numbers this season. Jamoi Mayes, Javin Whatley, and Sam Phillips have combined for 147 catches, 2,246 yards, and 16 touchdowns. Keeping those three in check will be critical for the Alabama defense.
Keeping Jalen Milroe healthy
Jalen Milroe got a little banged up against the Wildcats this past weekend but powered through the injury to help guide the Tide to victory. Ensuring the health of Milroe is of the utmost importance if Alabama wants to make a run at the CFP.
Final home game for the seniors
This will be several player’s final game inside Bryant-Denny Stadium and I am hopeful the Tide faithful will show up for this occasion. As wild as it seems, perhaps the most impactful senior on the team is place kicker Will Reichard who could potentially be the nation’s all-time leading scorer by the time the season is over. After many years of struggling to find a consistent kicker, Coach Saban found one is Reichard and he has already cemented his legacy as an all-time great.
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