Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Chattanooga Mocs Complete Game Preview
In a final tune-up before an epic Iron Bowl showdown with Auburn, Alabama will host the Chattanooga Mocs of the FCS on senior day in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The Mocs come into the game with a record of 8-3, including 6-2 in the Southern Conference. Alabama is, of course, undefeated and gunning for a third straight BCS National Championship.
The game will be a chance to see if Alabama's offense can get back into a rhythm after being out of sync for much of a 20-7 win over Mississippi State last week.
Another big story will be seeing how many young players get into the game after it gets out of hand early.
Here's everything you need to know:
Date: Saturday, Nov. 23
Time: 1 p.m. CT
Place: Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network, Mocs Sports Network
Spread: No lines are listed on Vegas Insider.
Alabma Keys to Victory
Stay Injury Free
Don't be surprised if Alabama's starters don't even make it to halftime. The worst case scenario for this game would be for the Tide to lose a star like AJ McCarron or C.J. Mosley on a freak accident.
Alabama is obviously much more talented than Chattanooga. It won't take much for Alabama to actually win the game.
Chattanooga Keys to Victory
Hope For A Miracle
That's really all Chattanooga can hope for on the road against the No. 1 team in the country. The Mocs will need lucky bounces, fluke plays, uncharacteristic mental errors from Alabama and then some if they want to have a chance at pulling what would probably be the biggest upset in college football history.
Alabama Players to Watch
If and when Alabama pulls away early in this one, fans will certainly be honing in on which quarterback or quarterbacks spell McCarron.
Against Georgia State, Blake Sims handled the backup duties, playing for two-and-a-half quarters. Will redshirt freshman Alec Morris or preferred walk-on freshman Luke Del Rio—who's been the fourth quarterback on road trips—see the field at all?
Alabama's Irreplaceable Stars
Alabama has the depth to overcome an injury to an offensive or defensive lineman, running back or wide receiver, but should a key player like McCarron, Mosley or yet another defensive back sustain a serious injury, it could spell bad news for the Crimson Tide's title hopes.
Chattanooga Players to Watch
The senior linebacker is a two-time All-American and on the watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top defensive player in the FCS. Dothard leads the team with 81 tackles and has recorded two interceptions on the year.
Tull is a junior defensive lineman and UTC's career sack leader with 26.5. He is also on the watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award and was named the SoCon Defensive Player of the Year in 2012.
What They Are Saying
Landon Collins said Alabama isn't looking ahead to the Iron Bowl just yet, according to al.com's Andrew Gribble:
"The (coaches) didn’t have to tell us about that," sophomore safety Landon Collins said. "We already know we have to focus on this game. We had a bad game last week, which means working on our fundamentals for the defense. We’re looking forward to this game. We’ll look at the next game after this one."
Chattanooga coach Russ Huesman said if his players are healthy, they will play, regardless of the risk for injury, according to John Frierson of the Chattanooga Times Free Press:
"We do have some guys dinged up and we'll see how they progress, and we'll make those decisions as the week goes on," he said. "If somebody can play, we're not going to not play them because it's Alabama or because the playoffs are coming up. I don't think it's fair to those kids, who want to play. There isn't one of them that doesn't want to play in this game."
Alabama 42, Chattanooga 0
Alabama gets back on track and the starters are gone by the middle of the second quarter. The Crimson Tide, though, don't run up the score. As soon as the clock hits 0:00, the hype begins for the biggest game of Alabama's season.