Leading up to kickoff on Saturday, we’ll be tackling the best questions from Alabama football fans. Look for our Alabama Question of the Day every Tuesday through Friday. Go here to see all of our previous answers.
Alabama football continues its SEC grind with a trip to Starkville, Miss., on Saturday for a matchup with Mississippi State. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Alabama is coming off a win against LSU. The Crimson Tide (9-0, 6-0 SEC) jumped on LSU in the first half, taking a 14-0 lead and riding the fast start to a 24-10 victory.
The AP and coaches polls have zero effect on the rankings that matters most: the College Football Playoff rankings. Alabama was ranked No. 2 in the second set of CFP rankings released Tuesday night.
On Sunday, Alabama checked in at No. 1 in the Amway Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25.
Following the matchup at Mississippi State, Alabama hosts Mercer and plays at Auburn in the Iron Bowl to close out the regular season.
How will Alabama contain Nick Fitzgerald?
Look for Alabama to be aggressive and attack Nick Fitzgerald. This season, Mississippi State has used its quarterback as its main offensive weapon.
Fitzgerald is fifth in the SEC with an average of 89 rushing yards per game. He’s accounted for 25 total touchdowns this season. His 12 rushing touchdowns are tied for second in the SEC.
Alabama coach Nick Saban explained what makes Fitzgerald such a tough player to defend.
“They have a lot of quarterback runs, so basically you’re playing against wildcat at every snap,” Saban said. “But because it’s a quarterback and he has a great ability to throw, that’s something you have to take into consideration and make sure you can defend their passing game as well. Then when they do pass, his ability to scramble and run also creates problems for the defense.
“Any of these guys that are athletic enough to make plays with their feet, can execute quarterback runs and do it with a level of toughness that is equal to a running back, and then their pocket passing, to go out there and make plays in the passing game, I think those guys create lots of problems for everybody on defense, not just linebackers.”
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