Alabama Team Preview
Alabama will be in unfamiliar territory for the 2023 college football season. The Crimson Tide had a more uncertain offseason than in years past after finishing second in the SEC West to LSU. On offense and defense, there is a new play-caller, and stars Bryce Young and Will Anderson will have to be replaced.
However, Tuscaloosa is not short in talent. Tyler Buchner, Jalen Milroe, and Ty Simpson will restart their quarterback rivalry in the fall, and whoever wins will be handed a strong supporting cast. There has been considerable defensive turnover, but this squad still has a shot at becoming very good.
The Tide’s scheme grew into one of college football’s most potent passing offenses beginning in 2018, after Alabama shifted from a run-heavy strategy in the mid-2010s. For the first time since 2017, Alabama’s offense stagnated last season, falling outside the top 10 in yards per game at No. 11.
Bryce Young was a quarterbacking wizard, but he didn’t have much room to grow as a receiver. With Young out of the picture, Alabama’s quarterback situation is more precarious than it has been since before Jalen Hurts arrived in 2016. Jalen Milroe, a third-year player who played in a game and a half last year after Young got hurt, brings the most experience to the team.
In pass rusher Will Anderson Jr., Alabama had one of the best players in college football the past three years. Anderson’s ability to halt every play has an effect on offensive strategies. Among its front seven players, Alabama must now choose its next playmaker.
Kool-Aid McKinstry, a star cornerback, is returning to lead the defense, but there are questions at safety and the fifth and sixth defensive back positions, all of which are important to Saban’s scheme. Some of the team’s depth issues may be resolved if transfers Jaylen Key and Trey Amos arrive in the fall.
Alabama will approach the 2023 season with more questions than usual due to the loss of Young and Anderson, two of Saban’s best players. Every year, Alabama fields one of the best college football rosters, but in two of the last four years, they have failed to make the College Football Playoff.
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