• Mackenzie Mills


Nick Saban. It's a name that'll make a chill run up your spine if you're not careful. The man came to Alabama in 2007 and hasn't given up a game against Arkansas yet. (Claiming a vacated win in Saban's first year just doesn't feel right, you know?)

Is there a weakness in the Crimson Tide armor? Sure. This team isn't perfect, but they're darn near close—Alabama has lost just eight SEC games under Saban in the last decade.

Here are three things you need to know about Alabama... and how the Hogs can keep the game a lot closer than they did last season:

▶️ Shaky Grounds: Alabama's starting quarterback last season is in the NFL. So is their Heisman-winning wide receiver. And another wide receiver. And a running back. And three offensive linemen. And... the list goes on. Nick Saban has had to reload rosters before, but this will be one of his toughest. Bryce Young has completed just 13 passes in his young college career. Mac Jones played more games (17) than that before he officially took over as QB1. Maybe there's some hope in a rocky start this year for the sophomore?

▶️ The Center Of Attention: Sure, quarterback is the most important position in college football... but Najee Harris was the star of the show in Tuscaloosa, accounting for 61% of Alabama's rushing yards and 38% of their touchdowns. No one was that productive on the Crimson Tide last season, not even DeVonta Smith. This will be a very, very different team the Hogs face this year.

▶️ Attack On Third Downs: Get aggressive on offense when it's third down, Coach Pittman. Last year was the worst Alabama third down defense in a decade. Last year's group allowed teams to convert 42% of their chances. All the other teams didn't even let opponents get close to 40%. And with key defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs gone, the Razorbacks could steal a few possessions by getting tricky on third down.

SEC Media Days is scheduled to start on Monday, July 19th. Leading up to the event, we'll be breaking down all 12 of the team's opponents in 2021. Up tomorrow? Missouri!

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