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A quick glance at Alabama ahead of Rose Bowl vs. Michigan

Alabama has momentum.

NCAA Football: SEC Football Championship-Georgia at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

There were large swaths of the 2023 season where it looked like the Alabama Crimson Tide would not make the cut for the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

After a 34-24 loss to Texas in September Alabama dropped all the way to No. 10 in the AP Top 25 poll. Luckily for ‘Bama, they went on an 11-game winning streak and got better as the season wore on. Now they’re ranked No. 4 in the nation at 12-1 and are set to take on the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines (13-0) in the Rose Bowl.

Here’s a quick glance at the 2023 Alabama team.

Alabama schedule results

  • Sept. 2 vs. MTSU: W 56-7
  • Sept. 9 vs. Texas: L 34-24
  • Sept. 16 at South Florida: W 17-3
  • Sept. 23 vs. Ole Miss: W 24-10
  • Sept. 30 at Mississippi State: W 40-17
  • Oct. 7 at Texas A&M: W 26-20
  • Oct. 14 vs. Arkansas: W 24-21
  • Oct. 21 vs. Tennessee: W 34-20
  • Nov. 4 vs. LSU: W 42-28
  • Nov. 11 at Kentucky: W 49-21
  • Nov. 18 vs. Chattanooga: W 66-10
  • Nov. 25 at Auburn: W 27-24
  • Dec. 2 vs. Georgia: W 27-24

Offensive rankings and playmakers

  • No. 19 in scoring offense (35.1 points per game), No. 54 in total offense (401.2 yards per game), No. 49 in rushing offense (172.69) and No. 61 in passing offense (228.5).
  • One player who improved substantially throughout the year was Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe. Milroe ranked fourth nationally in passer rating at 177.48, completed 65 percent of his passes this season for 2,718 yards and 23 touchdowns with six interceptions. Milroe was lethal on the ground as well, rushing for 468 yards and 12 rushing scores.
  • Alabama has a one, two punch at running back. Jase McClellan has 803 rushing yards and six touchdowns, Roydell Williams has 561 rushing yards and six total scores.
  • Stats at wideout aren’t as flashy as some years for Alabama, but they have two receivers and one tight end that have been clutch at one point or the other this season. WR Jermaine Burton has 35 catches for 777 yards and eight touchdowns, WR Isaiah Bond has 44 catches for 621 yards and four touchdowns, while TE Amari Niblack is at 19 catches for 231 yards and four touchdowns.

Defensive playmakers

  • Alabama ranks No. 18 in total defense (313.3 yards allowed per game), No. 17 in scoring defense (18.4 points per game), No. 32 in rushing defense (124.54) and No. 23 in passing defense (188.8).
  • Edge rusher Dallas Turner was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Turner has nine sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles this season.
  • Cornerback Terrion Arnold leads Alabama with five interceptions.
  • True freshman cornerback Caleb Downs was named SEC Newcomer of the Year after racking up 99 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions and one forced fumble this season. Downs is also a punt returner and had an 85-yard return touchdown against Chattanooga.
  • Linebacker Jiihad Campbell has 65 tackles, 11 pressures and an interception.

Alabama’s play of the year

Jalen Milroe kept Alabama’s postseason hopes alive in November against Auburn. Trailing 24-20 with 43 seconds left in the game Alabama had a 4th and Goal situation — from the 31-yard line. Milroe had plenty of time and launched a touchdown pass to Isaiah Bond. Alabama would win the game 27-24.

Best win of the year

Alabama’s path to the playoff was somewhat improbable. To get to the playoffs, they had to beat then-ranked No. 1 Georgia 27-24 in the SEC Championship game and leapfrog undefeated Florida State in the final playoff rankings. Alabama ended Georgia’s 29-game winning streak and knocked the Bulldogs out of the playoffs. Alabama jumped all the way from No. 8 to No. 4 to set up this Michigan-Alabama Rose Bowl matchup.