Top-ranked Alabama looks to claim the SEC crown and claim a playoff spot on Saturday with a win over No. 15 Missouri.
Here are some of the bigger headlines from Friday’s SEC pregame events.
HEALTHY ROBINSON: Offensive lineman Cam Robinson is set to play on Saturday. Although Alabama head coach Nick Saban said no one is quite 100 percent healthy at this point of the season, however, Saban said “he has practiced all week,” and that he does “expect him to play in the game.”
SABAN ON MISSOURI’s DEFENSE: Saban had a lot of praise for Mizzou defensive ends Markus Golden and Shane Ray.
“They're great players. Both guys have had tremendous years, great production, whether it's sacks, tackles for loss. I think their quickness, they're instinctive players, and I think that creates a tremendous asset for them.”
Saban added, “it's going to be really, really important to be able to control the line of scrimmage and not allow these guys to get a lot of penetration with their movement and quickness.
THEY SAID IT:Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel had a lot of praise for this ‘Bama offense.
“What you have is, first of all, starting with their offensive line, very athletic, great size. You talk about difficult to sack. They're a good running football team, big running backs. You have Cooper, amongst other great receivers. Then Sims is playing at a very, very high level. We talked about his efficiency, what he does. Other than that, it's an easy task,” Pinkel joked.“(Their offense) presents a lot of problems, a lot of formations. They put (Amari) Cooper all over the place. Just presents a lot of problems. They can run the ball well, big offensive line, do a lot of zone blocking, play-action pass, throw the ball downfield. It's certainly a task at hand here for us. I think they've got a great offensive design. Makes it very difficult.”
REKINDLED RELATIONSHIP:Gary was a really good player, a much better player than me. But we did win a championship together, my senior year, his junior year. We were GAs together,” Saban said. “I certainly value my relationship…I never, ever have taken any of these games that we play personally… I think they know when we play the game that we're both going to do the best we can to compete with our group the best that we can. But that's part of what we respect about each other. When the game's over, that friendship is not affected by what happens in the game.”
’Bama enters the game as a two-touchdown favorite over Mizzou. BamaMag.com’s A.P. Steadham and Scout.com’s Jacquie Franciulli discuss the battle of the trenches, Missouri’s touted defense and more in the video above.Follow @JacquieFran_