Mocs' Passing Game Has Been Strong

While most observers consider Alabama's Saturday game against Chattanooga to be a breather, the Crimson Tide coach is not among them. He speaks of the Mocs improving by five wins in one season. Others might point out that Chattanooga is 6-4 with a new coach because of a 1-9 record last year.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said, "We are all looking forward to Saturday's game against a much-improved Chattanooga team. I think anytime you improve five wins in one season, obviously the players have responded and played hard. They've come back in a couple of games that they were behind in, including their last game, and I think that always speaks well of the competitive character of the team."

Saban gave a hint of what to expect when the Crimson Tide hosts Chattanooga Saturday. The Mocs have some air power.

"They are a very well coached team and the quarterback (B. J. Coleman, 220-376-7, 2,312 yards, 17 touchdowns) is very good," Saban said.

He added, "They've got a very good receiver who has 82 catches (wide receiver Blue Cooper, who has 82 catches for 817 yards and seven touchdowns). They have another guy who has 42 catches. They have been very effective and efficient in passing the ball. I think he's a very good quarterback, a Division I quarterback in every way and could probably have been a quarterback in our league. I think it's smart in featuring the players they have. They run the ball a little bit, but they can really throw the ball well. And that's what has enabled them to come back in some of their games."

Alabama goes into Saturday's game with a 10-0 record and ranked second in the nation. Kickoff in Bryant-Denny Stadium will be at 11:21 a.m. CST with regional television coverage in limited markets on the SEC Network. Alabama's seniors will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony.

Saban continues to harp on his team concentrating on Chattanooga, not looking past the Mocs to the Auburn game a week from Friday, or even the Southeastern Conference Championship Game against Florida on December 5.

"Our players need to take ownership of what they have an opportunity to accomplish, not only in this game, but in each game and each challenge that we have as we go one game at a time here down the road," Saban said. "Taking ownership means you own something, it's yours, you're responsible for it, and you do what you need to do.

"Everyone in our organization – coaches, players, everyone who has a role in what we do – needs to take ownership for what we have an opportunity to do. It starts with this game, how we improve, how we practice every day, and what we do."

On the injury front, Saban said jack linebacker Eryk Anders, who suffered a sprained ankle, had been able to practice this week with no problem. He also said that tight end Colin Peek, who had been limited in recent weeks with a strained knee, was full speed.

The news is not as good for running back Terry Grant. "We keep saying he's day-to-day," Saban said. "He doesn't seem to be getting any better. He has that abdominal strain that is very painful, very debilitating in terms of how painful it is, especially with exercise. It's very hard to diagnose and the treatment has gone slow. We're doing everything we can to get him back, and we're hopeful he'll be back because he can contribute to our team. But you have to listen to the players. When he says he can't go and it's very painful, we can't push him and do more than that."

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