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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban shares the importance of routine ahead of Chattanooga

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. As you might imagine, previews for the FCS game are scarce. Here are a couple for you.

On offense, quarterback Chase Artopoeus has played in 10 games this season and completed 187 of 298 attempts (62.75%) for 2,672 yards, 20 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. His three primary pass catchers have been Jamoi Mayes (53 receptions, 924 yards, 4 touchdowns), Javin Whatley (44 receptions, 802 yards, 8 touchdowns) and Sam Phillips (50 catches, 520 yards, 4 touchdowns). Gino Appleberry has led the team in rushing with 527 yards and six touchdowns. Ailym Ford is second with 485 yards and four touchdowns.

On defense, Alex Mitchell leads the team in tackles with 58. Josh Battle is second with 51. Jay Person has been a tackles-for-loss machine, tallying 15, and he also leads the team in sacks with 7.5. He’s also got a team-high three forced fumbles. In coverage, Jordan Walker and Kameron Brown have each tallied three interceptions.

Chattanooga currently ranks third in the Southern conference of the Football Champion Subdivision, behind Furman and Mercer. Mocs quarterback Chase Artopoeus’ season high of 399 passing yards against Western Carolina passing yards is actually higher than Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe’s season high, which is 321 passing yards against Texas A&M.

Both teams also hold two of the top pass rushers in their specific leagues. Alabama has linebackers Chris Braswell and Dallas Turner, who both have seven sacks this season, tied for third in the SEC. Chattanooga has edge rusher Jay Person, who’s tied for first in the Southern Conference with 7 1/2 sacks, and defensive end Ben Brewton has seven.

As usual in these games, I have little interest in predicting whether Alabama will cover some ridiculous spread. Play well, stay healthy, get the backups some work.

Nick Saban spoke as usual on Thursdays, and his morning routine got a few chuckles.

— Potter asks what it says about Milroe after he played through a thigh injury Saturday. Saban says Milroe has the passion and toughness that it takes. Praises Milroe’s work ethic and focus and has always been tough. Says he cringes a bit sometimes when Milroe takes hits, but he admires the toughness and it inspires his other teammates. Says Milroe got back to full speed on Alabama.

— Question is what makes Alabama’s current senior class special. Saban says sometimes senior day crowd isn’t as good as it should be, but encourages fans to show out for the matchup with Chattanooga. Says he doesn’t think people realize how difficult it is to be a student-athlete. Says sometimes people take that for granted, asks fans to show their appreciation on Saturday for everything the seniors have done at Alabama.

“What the players are campaigning for, which I have not given into as of yet, but it would make me a better person if I would do it, they want me to pay for any swearing on the field,” Saban said Thursday in his radio show. “That would be very costly.”

How costly?

“I might need to get a loan from Miss Terry on that one,” Saban said, laughing.

During his scheduled appearance on The Pat McAfee Show this Thursday, the Alabama skipper shared a message about the importance of sticking to a routine by sharing his own morning ritual with the college football world.

“I try to prepare with a certain routine every day,” Saban began. “I get up every day, I let the dog out, have a cup of coffee and I get two Little Debbie cookies, that’s how I start.

“Routine sort of helps people stay in the moment... and that’s what I try to get our players to focus on.”

I thought everyone knew about the Little Debbies by now.

Apparently Alabama needs someone above them to lose despite the disparities in SOS.

Washington @ Oregon State

The No. 5 Huskies have perhaps the toughest matchup of any team ranked ahead of the Crimson Tide. Washington, one of the schools leaving the Pac-12 after the season, faces a tough No. 11 Oregon State squad, one of the two remaining in the remnants of the league.

The game will be aired on ABC at 6:30 p.m. CT.

Last but not least, Nate Oats and company will try to eclipse the 100-point mark for the fourth straight time tonight, as they face Mercer.

The No. 22 Alabama men’s basketball team will host the final game of its four-game homestand to start the 2023-24 season, as the Crimson Tide will face Mercer at 7 p.m. CT Friday inside Coleman Coliseum. The only telecast of the game will be on SECNetwork+ (streaming). Alabama is 3-0, Mercer 1-2. The teams have played one common opponent, Morehead State, the Tide winning, 105-73 in the season-opener, the Bears losing on the road, 74-66, in the most recent outing. This is Bama’s fourth home game in the start to the season.

The Tide has won 18-straight games at Coleman, which ranks as the fifth-longest home winning streak in Division I, winning by an average of 26.6 points per contest.

That’s about it for now. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.