Alabama football: Tide historically successful against No. 1 teams under Nick Saban
Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every sport on campus.
Taking down the No. 1 team
During Alabama coach Nick Saban’s tenure, the Tide has faced their fair share of No. 1 teams. Two seasons ago, Alabama defeated No. 1 Clemson in the national championship. Before that, the Tide took down No. 1 Mississippi State at home in 2015. Saban has five wins over the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 under his watch at Alabama. In the Sugar Bowl, the Crimson Tide will face another No. 1 in Clemson. Saban’s only loss against a No. 1 team at Alabama came against LSU in 2011 in the “Game of the Century.”
In other headlines …
- Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt returned to Tuscaloosa for practice after handling some business at his new job as head coach of Tennessee.
- Clemson spends less time preparing for the Alabama semifinal matchup than one might think.
- ESPN College Football analyst Kirk Herbstreit still defends his decision to walk off set when Alabama became the No. 4 team in the playoff.
- ESPN radio host Paul Finebaum is against the early signing period in recruiting.
- Tommy Deas of the Tuscaloosa News broke down the matchup between Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and Alabama’s defense.
Improving the passing game
One of Alabama’s biggest weaknesses has been its inability to stretch the field through its vertical passing game. Alabama’s overall passing game has struggled this season. Against Auburn, quarterback Jalen Hurts only threw for 103 yards. With No. 1 Clemson looming in the College Football Playoff, Hurts and the passing game will have to step up its game if the Tide want to advance to a third straight national championship. ESPN’s Chris Low said Hurts’ ability to throw the ball will be the biggest factor in the Clemson game. Last season, Hurts threw for 131 yards on 13-of-31 passing against the Tigers.
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