Alabama has already clinched the SEC West title with three games left in the regular season. However, the No. 1 Crimson Tide has no time to rest on its laurels as it faces another ranked opponent in No. 16 Mississippi State this week.
Alabama is vying for its 11th straight win over Mississippi State as the Bulldogs come to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff. Alabama is a 25-point favorite in the matchup, according to VegasInsider.com. Here are five questions to consider leading up to the game.
At 6-foot-4, 295 pounds, Quinnen Williams has a hard time blending into crowds. It’s been even tougher now that the starting defensive lineman has become the face of Alabama’s vaunted defense.
“I really don’t go out for real for real, so when I do go out people do recognize me,” Williams said. “It’s cool. It’s fun to me. I’m going to always have fun. I’m not going to ever let anything stress me out about it.”
Williams hasn’t had much to stress about on the field, either. He’s left that to opposing offensive lineman. The Birmingham, Ala., native is coming off his best performance of the season against LSU where he tallied a career-high 10 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, with 2.5 sacks en route to earning Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Through nine games this season, Williams leads Alabama with 12 tackles for a loss and is second on the team with nine quarterback hurries. He’s the highest rated defender in the nation with a 96.2 grade from Pro Football Focus and has been mentioned by several draft analysts as a potential high first-round pick in next season’s NFL Draft. Although, so far the redshirt sophomore is doing a good job of tuning out that praise.
“I really don’t look at myself as a star. I’m just doing my job and handling my business like everybody else should be doing and everybody else expects me to dominate my box just like I expect everybody else to dominate their box. It just goes along with everything.”