It was a moment senior Alabama running back Jase McClellan will never forget.

Said moment occurred when McClellan was a freshman in the 2020 national championship season for the Crimson Tide. He had worked his way on to the kick-off return team and was back deep preparing to return the ball if it was not a touchback.

Problem: McClelllan misjudged the ball in the air, dropped it, picked it up and got tackled well inside the 25 where the ball would have been placed had he signaled for a fair catch. That put the Tide offense in a hole to start a drive, and the head coach, as one can imagine, wasn't having it.

"[Saban] told me to kiss his ... something," McClellan said, recently at a press breifing. "That's one of my favorite things he's said."

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McClellan, the 2023 team's top rusher,  knows that to avoid another such chewing he and the Bama offense must figure out how to overcome the crowd noise at Kyle Field Saturday against Texas A&M in a game that could possibly decide the SEC West.

"You try not to let [the crowd noise] be a distraction for you. You try to focus on what you came to do and just block that  out," he said. "We did a great job with that [at Mississippi State].

"It's a great experience just to feel the environment of a different team."

McClellan said he was especially impressed with the way quarterbck Jalen Milore handled the noise in his first SEC road start.

"It got him prepped for the 12th man at Texas A&M," McClelland said of Milroe. "That's a bigger environment and will be a bigger challenge. I feel like he handled it well and came out and played great [in Starkville with the cowbells].

"I think it was good for him."

Saban said earlier this week that the staff would coach the team harder this week.

"There was a lot more getting on to people," McClellan noted of early week practices. "If you made a mistake, a lot more yelling, so we're trying to get [mistakes] out of the way."

The Tide will take on Texas A&M in College Station Saturday at 2: CT and you can hear the game on 95.3 The Bear and Tide 100.9 FM.

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