Nick Saban hopes for hostile BDS environment when Ole Miss arrives
It’s been ages since Alabama got the chance to play an important game at full capacity at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, stadiums were only able to allow 50% of the capacity for each match, which impacted the atmosphere created by the fans.
Now that the Crimson Tide are allowed to fill their stands for the entire season, head coach Nick Saban is looking for an electric atmosphere for his game against Ole Miss this Saturday.
“This is the first big (home) game we’ve had here in about a year and a half because of last year with COVID,” Saban told media on Wednesday. “I know we’ve had a few home games, but it’s a SEC home game for the first time in a few years, and I hope our fans are as excited about it as our team. Play a very good team. They have a lot of very good players. They are doing a great job of execution and it will be a real challenge for us.
“When we played in Florida, I mean it was really, really tough for our team, and it shows. So hopefully we can do a bit of it that way for their team. We are just delighted to be playing a great home game in our stadium against a good team, and I hope our fans, players and everyone have great passion and enthusiasm for this game.
In Alabama’s 31-29 victory over Florida, fans at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium had a clear impact on Alabama’s offense. Quarterback Bryce Young struggled on several points to deliver the pace of applause to the offensive line who couldn’t hear Young at several points throughout the game. As a result, the team suffered several pre-slick penalties affecting practices and slowing momentum.
“Crazy atmosphere,” Young said after the game against Florida. “These fans were really loud. We knew it would be a harsh environment to come, and he was up to it for sure. The fans were super loud. There was a lot to deal with. It was a really great team. We just played in a really, really tough environment. It was tough, but I’m very proud of us as a unit for overcoming it. “
Alabama will look to have a similar impact on Lane Kiffin’s offense led by quarterback Matt Corral, which will bring the conference’s best offense to Tuscaloosa this weekend.
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Patrick Dowd is a reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter via Pat_Dowd77