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Nick Saban, Alabama ‘confident’ in Dylan Moses heading into Iron Bowl

Adam Hagy - USA TODAY Sports

A different story would be written if Dylan Moses had struggled at inside linebacker against Mercer, but seeing how the freshman attacked the moment, Alabama now has more leverage. 

He felt comfortable all week in practice leading up to the game, and despite going through pre-game nerves, nothing is better than having a leader in Minkah Fitzpatrick calm you down.  

Moses was involved on every play, to a tune of 11 total tackles, four tackles for loss and his first career interception in the Crimson Tide’s 56-0 win.

Whether it was taking angles away, eating up space, or shooting his way into the backfield, the five-star prospect made his presence felt on every snap.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban is downplaying the possible returns of outside backers Christian Miller (biceps) and Terrell Lewis (elbow) this week. 

Both players are in the final stage of functional rehab, and while a multitude of rumors and reports have them scheduled to return very soon, Saban continues to provide media personnel with the same answer: ‘Both players have not been medically cleared yet.’ 

Playing the game of hypotheticals is not fun; nevertheless, there is an interesting dynamic being presented as Moses could be the nucleus behind the team getting Miller, Lewis and Mack Wilson (foot) all back in a much bigger situation.  

Should the Tide defeat Auburn on Saturday with Moses, Saban will position the duo of Lewis and Miller for the following Southeastern Conference title game versus Georgia. Reflecting back on his performance at Bryant-Denny Stadium, the program has a lot of confidence in Moses. 

“I think he did a good job. I really do,” Saban said of Moses. 

“I think he was more prepared and played with more confidence. He did not have a lot of anxiety, which is important in staying focused. He made a lot of plays and played fast. That’s what we like for him to do and hopefully, that will carry out to future games.” 

According to Pro Football Focus, a site that dives into the analytics of college and professional athletes, the freshman made its Defensive Team of the Week for the SEC — grading out at 91.9 percent. Not only did Moses receive the highest grade, but he was also joined by teammate Deionte Thompson (85.1% grade).

For the second time since 2013, the Iron Bowl will decide the winner of the SEC Western Division and who will play in the conference championship game. Moses anticipates having another impactful moment at Jordan-Hare Stadium, with CBS airing the game at 2:30 p.m. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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