No. 4 ranked Alabama is set to welcome Middle Tennessee State to Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday as each program kicks off its season.

Tide 100.9 logo
Get our free mobile app

The Blue Raiders are coming off an 8-5 season with a Hawai'i Bowl win over SDSU and a 45-31 shocker of the No. 25 ranked Miami Hurricanes. Middle Tennessee State is returning 13 starters, five on the offense and eight on the defense.

Alabama is coming off a disappointing yet relatively successful 2022-23 campaign, finishing with an 11-2 record and a Sugar Bowl win. The Tide is returning only nine starters from last season, taking significant losses from the departure of quarterback Bryce Young and linebacker Will Anderson Jr. to the NFL.

The Middle Tennessee State offense is headlined by sophomore quarterback Nicholas Vattiato, who threw for 293 yards as a backup in 2023, and Doak Walker Award Watch List running back Frank Peasant.

MTSU offensive coordinator Mitch Stewart also has two veteran wideouts at his disposal in, redshirt sophomore Elijah Metcalf and senior DJ England-Chisholm.

The Alabama team is loaded with talent at every level, with playmakers such as Jaheim Oatis, Dallas Turner, Chris Braswell, Deontae Lawson, Kool-Aid McKinstry, Caleb Downs, and Malachi Moore spread out all over the field; the MTSU offense should have a tough night moving the ball down the field.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Blue Raiders have playmakers at all three levels, with Zaylin Woods, Marley Cook, and Devyn Curtis anchoring the front seven. At the same time, Teldrick Ross and Tra Fleullen secure the Blue Raider secondary.

The short (and easy) answer is no. Simply put, the Blue Raiders don't have the firepower on either side of the football to keep up with Alabama for 60 minutes. MTSU is still a solid program that can compete in the C-USA but is not at the level to compete with the powerhouses of college football, such as Alabama.

The Blue Raiders will be a tune-up game for the Crimson Tide, who are set to host No. 11-ranked Texas the following week.

For more Alabama Football content from Simon Besnoy, follow him on X/Twitter at @Simonbez1 and stay tuned to for daily news.

Alabama Football Practice- August 15, 2023

Alabama Fan Day 2023

More From Tide 100.9