Alabama vs Mercer Preview
Undefeated Mercer To Take On Top Ranked Crimson Tide
Coach Drew Cronic will lead his Mercer Bears into Tuscaloosa this week after a dominating performance in week one of the college football season. The Bears mauled Point University 69-0 to start the season. Point is a NAIA school which was a step down in competition for Mercer. In their week one contest Mercer set several school records that included most points in a game with 69, most total yards in a game with 778 and most rushing yards in a game with 539.
In week one Alabama looked very impressive in the first half against 14th ranked Miami racing out to a 27-3 lead. Coach Saban was not happy with the second half performance saying “the game got sloppy” as Alabama only outscored Miami 17-13. While overall Alabama came out with a nice 44-13 win, the win came at a cost as Alabama appears to have lost linebacker Christopher Allen with a fractured foot for the rest of the season. Fortunately for Alabama the linebacker position is filled with depth this year but Allen’s presence will be missed.
Alabama last played Mercer in 2017 and stomped the Bears by a 56-0 score. This week Coach Saban has not been happy at practice in preparation for Mercer. Yesterday Coach Saban was very fired up saying “We’ve got every external factor in the world that is affecting our ability to maintain intensity.” FCS game weeks are usually the times we see Nick Saban show the most emotion and intensity trying to teach his players to approach each practice and each game and each play with the same focus and intensity. Getting players to stay focused might be a bigger challenge this year as many players have to juggle NIL deals.
Any distractions the Alabama football team was allowing to get in the way for their preparation for Mercer earlier in the week will likely fall to the wayside after a long week of butt chewings and extra drills. Look for an ultra focused Bama team to come out and declaw the Bears from Macon, Georgia early. It should be a game where the TV cameras will focus on Coach Saban in his butt chewing mode vs an FCS team working to keep his team on proper focus and intensity. In the end the Mercer Bears will limp back to Macon, Georgia after a 59-3 loss as we should see the reserves come in mid way through the third quarter to get some valuable playing time.