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Alabama and Evening Game Open Thread: No. 1 Crimson Tide vs. No. 8 (FCS) Moccasins

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The Tide will work on its passing game, clear the bench, and try to keep everyone healthy against a quality FCS opponent, the UT-Chattanooga Mocs (8-2, No. 11 FCS.)

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a wild weekend...

Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State all held serve (in various weird ways,) setting up a bizarre next Saturday that could see any of the three teams win the Eastern division and get an inside track to the playoffs...or not.

In the SEC, Florida and LSU played one of the worst games of the year, with the Gators narrowly edging the Tigers to win the East. The SEC Championship Game is set now: Alabama and Florida will meet for the 9th time in the 25 year history of the SECCG. The series is tied 4-4, and Florida has the most SECCG wins with 7. Alabama can tie that mark with a win in two weeks.

Utah was eliminated from the P12 South crown with a loss to lowly Oregon tonight. Their loss also greatly diminishes the Washington Huskies SOS...and slim playoff hopes.

Tonight, Oklahoma-West Virginia, USC-UCLA square off. The former is an elimination round round robin for the B12 title, and keeps the winner's slim playoff hopes alive.

As for Alabama...

I think we know the drill here: Keep everyone upright, healthy, and iron out some more passing game wrinkles before Alabama gets into its second season: the Iron Bowl, the SEC title game, and the two-game playoff run (knock on wood.)

While they are a power running team (2100+ yards, 25 TDs, 5.1 YPC,) the Mocs are also a balanced team (No. 61 pass, 23 TDs.) Expect UT-Chatt to try and pound the rock and then to let 'er rip tonight with little regard for standard downs. UTC has a 3:1 TD to INT ratio and averages nearly 14 yards per completion.

Defensively, Chattanooga is a very good team. They are 15th in pass efficiency defense, surrendering just 7 TDs and an outstanding 1393 yards in the air. It is very hard to score on the Mocs period: They are 8th in FCS scoring defense, allowing a meagre 16.9 PPG.

With our stage set, chime in below: UTC came to put up a fight, and with their balanced offense and an excellent defense, don't be surprised if the Tide get off to somewhat of slower start than the helmets would suggest.

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Let's use this post for your all-purpose evening thread, on top of the Bama-UTC game.

We'll see you afterwards for the victory thread and nightcap. Roll Tide.