Saturday, May 25, 2024

2024 Alabama football spring game live stream, TV channel, watch online, start time, storylines to follow

It’s rare for college football spring games to be appointment viewing, but Alabama’s annual “A-Day” installment this Saturday has so much intrigue that it’s reaching that territory. For the first time in almost two decades, the Crimson Tide will be led onto the field by someone not named Nick Saban after the legendary coach decided to hang up the headset in January. 

Alabama moved quickly to hire Washington’s Kalen DeBoer as his replacement. He obviously has big shoes to fill, given that Saban is leaving six national titles and nine SEC championships in his wake.  Saban isn’t the only significant loss Alabama took during the offseason. The Crimson Tide had their fair share of draft departures, but the transfer portal took its toll as well, with reliable stars like defensive back Caleb Downs and wide receiver Isaiah Bond taking their talents to other programs. 

DeBoer is no stranger to big expectations, nor do roster rebuilds seem to phase him. He’s never suffered a losing record in a full 12-game season as a head coach and is fresh off leading Washington to its first College Football Playoff National Championship appearance in program history.   

Before he can think about the postseason — or Alabama’s first regular season game for that matter — he still has to make his debut in front of fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium as the Crimson Tide’s head coach. 

Here’s how to watch the DeBoer era get underway, and some storylines to monitor in Saturday’s spring showcase. 

How to watch 2024 Alabama spring game live

Date: Saturday, April 13 | Time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium — Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Watch: ESPN

2024 Alabama spring game storylines

1. Is Jalen Milroe ready to take that next step? Few college football players have a higher ceiling than Milroe. He has a howitzer for an arm, athletic ability and he can make plays outside of the pocket with his legs. Yet, he was plagued by inconsistency in his first season as Alabama’s full-time starter. Milroe was even briefly benched after a Week 2 loss to Texas. Good quarterback play is a hallmark of any team coached by DeBoer. He’s a legitimate guru who can elevate the productivity of anyone running his offense, so there’s some hype that this new pairing will help Milroe enter the Heisman Trophy tier. He certainly has the profile to get there. 

2. What does the defense look like? Through Saban’s 17 years with the program, Alabama was known for fielding a physical, schematically consistent defense that put elite talent in the NFL almost every single year. Though the Crimson Tide had their fair share of explosive offenses, Saban’s trademark was always the defense. Now that he’s gone, DeBoer is bringing an entirely new staff on that side of the ball, highlighted by coordinator Kane Wommack. Wommack maintains that his defensive philosophy isn’t too different from Saban’s, but each fresh coaching staff brings its own play calls and wrinkles. Saturday will be a prime opportunity to see how Alabama’s defense stacks up to those of yore, both from a talent and schematic perspective. 

3. Who plays in the secondary? The biggest early challenge for Wommack is figuring out who will start in the secondary. Alabama is losing four starters from 2023’s unit, including two potential first-round draft picks in Terrion Arnold and Kool-Aid McKinstry at cornerback and freshman phenom Caleb Downs — who transferred to Ohio State. Key reserve Trey Amos also left the program via the transfer portal. Lone returning starter Malachi Moore is a great building block who brings both versatility and veteran leadership. Alabama also dipped into the portal to sign two potential starters in cornerback Domani Jackson and Michigan safety Keon Sabb. There are still a lot of moving parts in such a massive overhaul, though, so the spring is very important for developing sorting some type of pecking order before things heat up in the fall. 

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