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UA to play Deonte Brown at both offensive guard spots versus Mississippi

Bryan Lynn - USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban wants to see balance on offense and he has chosen Alabama’s second matchup in Southeastern Conference play to achieve it.

The Crimson Tide will host the Mississippi Rebels on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium and on his “Hey Coach” show on Thursday, he said he plans on using Deonte Brown at both offensive guard spots.  

Brown, a junior, missed the last six games, dating back to the College Football Playoff last season.

An NCAA infraction caused him not to travel with the team and he was suspended the first four games of this year.

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The 6-foot-4, 338-pounder solidified Alabama’s line in five starts at left guard.

He brought power, explosiveness and a nastiness to the run game that the team lacked, prior to him starting against Tennessee.

During his starts, Brown provided stability as Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs found running lanes with ease and had much success in space. 

The Tide averaged over five yards per carry in Brown’s starts – including a 100-yard performance from Harris versus LSU. He guided Jacobs to 83 yards rushing in the SEC Championship Game on eight carries with two touchdowns. 

The former three-star won the Most Valuable Player honor in a 35-28 win over Georgia. 

Brown has battled some injuries; however, Saban knows how important the Alabama (Decatur) native is to the success of the offensive line. He has been working with the second team group through four weeks of practice and is excited to return to action. 

We worked him as a backup this week, but he’s probably the most powerful, explosive guy we have on the whole offensive line,” Saban said of Brown. “We will play him in this game, probably at both guard spots.” 

This means competition for Evan Neal (true freshman) and Landon Dickerson. 

Saban will play all three guys, but whomever gives this team the best look in both the passing game and rushing attack will be the starter.

Brown has more experience in this area than Neal and Dickerson – seeing how he has played longer with Alex Leatherwood and Jedrick Wills – but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Tide fans are definitely excited to have him back, though. 

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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 @CoachingMSmith.

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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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