Alabama Crimson Tide’s defensive lineman Damion Square compared a team’s off week to a NASCAR race last week, saying, “The bye week is like a pit stop. You tune your car up, so you can finish the race as strong as you can possibly finish it.” The team returned to Thomas-Drew practice field to continue preparation for what looks to be another solid season for the Tide, yesterday in a 90 minute practice. This weekend they are scheduled to play in Columbia against Missouri. Kickoff is set for 2:30p.m. CT on Saturday, October 13th, and the game is to air on CBS.
This away game for the Tide will be the first time that Alabama has played at Columbia, Missouri in over 30 years. The last time was in 1978 when the Tide claimed a 38-20 win, however, Missouri leads with overall wins at 2-1. Head coach Nick Saban was a college teammate at Kent State and also worked together as a part time coach along with the Tigers’ head coach, Gary Pinkel. Saban was quoted as saying of Pinkel, “I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for the kind of person that Gary is … he had done a fabulous job at Missouri.”
A look at the Tigers’ recent trend shows that they come back hard after a losing streak with record winning streaks. They are 3-3 overall this year and 0-3 in SEC games. In regard to the SEC newcomer, Saban made these comments: “We are playing a new opponent that, in my mind, is a very challenging opponent for a lot of reasons. They are a very good defensive team. Offensively, this is probably one of the most challenging offenses, philosophically, in terms of being no huddle, a lot of different formations and [will present] a lot of motions and adjustments for the defense to make.”
Saban also said of the top ranked Alabama team, “This is a very important game to us. It’s an SEC game. We are playing in a place where no one on our team meeting today has ever been before, including me.” This Saturday will mark only the fourth meeting between the two teams, the last win for Alabama against Missouri came the last time they played, when the Tide was ranked #1 then, as well, and pulled off a close one in the second half.