Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
Alabama hosts Mercer prior to the 2017 Iron Bowl

2017 Alabama football opponent preview and prediction: Mercer

Counting down to the start of Alabama’s football season, SEC Country is previewing the Crimson Tide’s 2017 opponents.

Alabama vs. Mercer

  • When: Saturday, Nov. 18
  • Kickoff time: TBA
  • Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
  • TV: TBA
  • Last meeting: Alabama and Mercer have faced each other twice. The Crimson Tide won both contests, which were played in Tuscaloosa, 20-0 in 1939 and 20-0 in 1940.

Mercer at a glance

  • Coach: Bobby Lamb
  • 2016 record: 6-5, 4-4 Southern Conference

Mercer players to watch

Sam Walker | TE

Walker owns 49 catches for 529 yards along with 5 touchdowns in his career. The two-time preseason All-SoCon selection ranked fourth on the team with 206 receiving yards last year and will provide a versatile, big target for Mercer’s to-be-named starting quarterback.

Isaiah Buehler | DE

Buehler was named to the 2016 All-SoCon second team as he tallied 31 tackles (seven tackles-for-loss) and three sacks from the defensive end position. The redshirt-junior earned All-Freshman honors in 2015 and will be a key piece for the Bears’ defensive attack.

Marquise Irvin | WR

Irvin emerged as Mercer’s most dynamic threat in a talented receiving corps last year with a breakout season that landed him on the 2016 All-SoCon second team. He has a 12.2 yards per catch average for his career and has hauled in 9 touchdowns in 22 games.

Cole Fisher | K

Fisher connected on 16 of 23 (69.5 percent) field goals after emerging as Mercer’s starting kicker in 2016. He led the Bears with 82 total points, nailed multiple field goals in six contests and was perfect on 34 point-after attempts.

Our take

Congrats, Mercer. You get the honor of being Alabama’s Iron Bowl tuneup for the 2017 season.

This game is laughable, honestly. No disrespect to the Bears, but this contest won’t be interesting at all. Maybe we’ll get to see a few young players take more snaps, but outside of that possibility, fans should expect a sleeper.

Prediction

Alabama 48, Mercer 3

Related