SEC West champion Alabama returns home Saturday for a nonconference tilt with Chattanooga from the FCS ranks. This will be one final tune-up game for the No. 8 Crimson Tide before they close the regular season against Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Then, it’s on to the SEC Championship Game against No. 1 Georgia.

Alabama has been on a tear after some early-season struggles, including a Week 2 loss against Texas. The Crimson Tide are fresh off a 49-21 win on the road against Kentucky and have won each of their last three SEC games by at least 14 points. The key to the late-season emergence is quarterback Jalen Milroe, who has played some of his best football over the last two weeks.

After engineering a 27-0 scoring run in Week 8 against Tennessee, he has 10 total touchdowns in his last eight quarters of play. Milroe had six touchdowns (three rushing, three passing) in the win against Kentucky.

As for Chattanooga, the Mocs are a respectable 7-3 with a 6-2 record in Southern Conference play. Alabama should be at least a little familiar with Chattanooga as this will be the 14th meeting all-time between the two teams. Bama holds a 13-0 advantage and won the previous installment in 2016 by a score of 31-3. The Crimson Tide have posted seven shutouts in the series and hold an all-time scoring advantage of 494-71.

How to watch Alabama vs. Chattanooga live



Alabama vs. Chattanooga: Need to know

SEC West already secured: Not that Saturday’s game has any bearing on the conference standings (obviously), but Alabama already has its future secured. With last week’s 28-point win against Kentucky, the Crimson Tide secured the SEC West title and a spot in the SEC Championship Game. This will be Alabama’s first appearance in Atlanta since 2022 and third in the last four years. On top of that, the Crimson Tide already know their opponent after Georgia locked down its spot when Missouri beat Tennessee.

One last home dance: This will be an Alabama fan’s last chance to see their favorite team inside the friendly confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium. As such, Alabama will take the opportunity to honor its seniors. The Crimson Tide are on the road next week against top rival Auburn, though that isn’t the worst trip for the Tide faithful to make. Whatever comes after that will take place at a neutral site. Obviously, the SEC Championship Game is hosted at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Then, Alabama will likely be playing in either the College Football Playoff or a New Year’s Six bowl, which have host sites all over the country.

Some familiarity on Chattanooga staff: Keen Alabama fans may recognize one name on Chattanooga’s coaching staff. Lorenzo Ward, who serves as the Mocs’ defensive coordinator, is originally from Greensboro, Alabama, and lettered on Alabama’s football team from 1986-89 as a special teams standout. He got his coaching career started in 1991 as a graduate assistant with the Crimson Tide and has since coached at the likes of Virginia Tech, Arkansas, South Carolina and Louisville. He was hired as Chattanooga’s defensive coordinator in 2019.

Alabama vs. Chattanooga prediction

This one shouldn’t really be close at any point. Sure, the Crimson Tide could be looking ahead towards the regular-season finale against Auburn, but it’s rare — under any circumstance — that an FCS program gives a top-10 power conference school any sort of trouble. Alabama is winning by an average score of 49.8-5.3 in its last 10 games against FCS programs. Expect that trend to continue as the Crimson Tide build more momentum towards the Iron Bowl and SEC Championship Game while giving the backups plenty of valuable experience in the second half. Prediction: Alabama 55, Chattanooga 7 

By Toffee

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