Alabama Football Dominates Chattanooga in Impressive Victory
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Chattanooga Mocs knew they were in for a tough challenge as they walked into Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday to face the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama, currently boasting a 10-1 record and a perfect 7-0 in the SEC, was widely regarded as the hottest team in the country. The vast difference in resources between the two teams was evident, with Alabama suiting up 134 players for senior day compared to Chattanooga’s 62. The economic disparity in college football was on full display in front of tens of thousands of cheering fans.
As expected, the outcome of the game was never in doubt. However, Chattanooga head coach Rusty Wright believed his team could have put up a better fight and kept the scoreline closer than the final 66-10 result suggested. In his postgame recap, Wright didn’t mince words, stating, “We got our ass kicked. We knew it was gonna be a challenge. We can’t throw interceptions. We can’t let them return punts. We can’t do things that we can control that could make life, never would’ve changed the outcome but we could’ve done things better. That was the goal today.”
Despite the lopsided scoreline, Wright was not upset with his team’s effort. The Mocs fell behind by 21 points early in the game but showed resilience in the second quarter, producing 90 yards compared to Alabama’s 134. However, Chattanooga struggled to contain Alabama’s Jermaine Burton on the boundary and the Tide’s five ball-carriers who each rushed for at least 40 yards.
There were some bright spots for Chattanooga amidst the dominant performance by Alabama. Jay Person recorded the game’s only sack against Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe, while Gino Appleberry broke through Alabama’s defense with a 40-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Appleberry, a senior from Atlanta, became the first FCS running back in 20 years to reach triple-digit rushing yards against Alabama.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Luke Schomburg, making his first career start, showed promise for Chattanooga. Despite completing just 10-of-21 passes for 107 yards and throwing an interception to Kristian Story, Schomburg managed to catch Alabama off guard with a 54-yard pass to Javin Whatley. However, breakdowns in execution prevented Chattanooga from capitalizing on these opportunities.
Wright praised Schomburg’s performance, stating, “Chattanooga got better today because of him. That young man can go out there and play against that? I know he wasn’t perfect and didn’t get a whole lot of help. That group played their tails off. They’ll fight. I hope they get an opportunity to fight one more time.”
With the loss, the Mocs’ record now stands at 7-4, with a 6-2 record in the Southern Conference. Chattanooga will need to rely on an at-large selection to secure a spot in the FCS playoff bracket. However, NCAA.com’s latest projections have listed Chattanooga among the first teams out.
As for Alabama, they will now turn their attention to the highly anticipated Iron Bowl against Auburn next weekend before facing Georgia in the SEC Championship. The Crimson Tide, currently holding a spot in both the AP and coaches polls, will look to maintain their momentum as they continue their quest for another national championship.
Nick Alvarez is a reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @nick_a_alvarez or email him at [email protected].