After an upset this past week to the Texas A&M Aggies at home, the Alabama Crimson Tide are certainly humbled. Now that his team finds itself out of the top three rankings, Alabama head coach Nick Saban emphasized the importance of maintaining focus despite the Tide's disappointing loss (via ESPN.com):
I think our players will recommit themselves and do the things that they need to do to finish the season the right way, and hopefully have an opportunity to accomplish something of significance with this particular team.
Following a nine-week long winning streak that featured impressive victories against ranked opponents like LSU, Michigan and Mississippi State, Alabama is ready to put Saturday’s aberration behind them and return to their winning ways.
With an unranked, one-win opponent ahead of them in the Western Carolina Catamounts, it seems the newly fourth-ranked Alabama will have no trouble.
The last time these two teams faced each other, the Tide rolled their way to a 52-6 victory back in 2007—which actually happened to be Saban’s first game as head coach of Alabama. Although their national title hopes are now out of their hands, Alabama still has an opportunity to finish off the season strong and compete for an SEC title starting with Saturday’s upcoming game in Tuscaloosa.
The Tide will come in with the best scoring defense in the nation—holding opponents to a mere 11 points. While we see one of the nation’s best defenses in this matchup, we also see one of the worst. Western Carolina is allowing over 500 yards of total offense per game this season—third worst of all FCS teams.
Even if Alabama manages to shutout Western Carolina, it’s unlikely it would be enough to drastically improve their ranking, but for a team that needs to move past disappointment, this upcoming game will be a good way to improve their spirits as a collective.