Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
Nick Saban has five wins against No. 1 teams in the AP Top 25 while at Alabama.

Alabama football: Tide historically successful against No. 1 teams under Nick Saban

Matt Speakman

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer JammerSEC 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 …

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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