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Why Alabama vet said this team isn’t sleeping on Sugar Bowl

At least these days, Alabama has been a mixed bag of bowl games without the ramifications of a national title.

Look at the 2008 Utah game and the 2013 Oklahoma game. The citrus bowl, on the other hand, gave better results. They beat Michigan State in 2019, following the demolition of Michigan State University in 2010. Three of those four years he won a national title, most recently in a 35-16 win over the Wolverines in the 2020 Citrus Bowl.

It’s that game that Emil Ekiyor uses as a barometer for this team. There is a perception that this Crimson his Tide team may not be all that tuned for Sugar his bowl match against Kansas State on Saturday.

Ekiyor explained Wednesday why not.

“I was on a team that didn’t make the playoffs,” he began. “And looking at some things as the older guys, it’s just that this team has a different mindset going into this game right now and a different level of focus that we’ve been practicing. It has power and strength.

“Usually this time of year, players are checked out if they’re not in the playoffs. Guys, our preparation was really good and I’m really looking forward to seeing how everyone performs in the game.”

So are we talking about the Michigan game three years ago?

“That’s kind of what I’m talking about,” Ekiyor said.

Related: Bill O’Brien, Alabama player responds to coaching criticism

Alabama trailed 16-14 at halftime and went into a rout with all 21 points in the second half.

This time, they will face a Kansas State team that has just won the Big 12 title, defeating the playoff-bound TCU. This is a wildcat program in the semifinals where he will prove something against the Alabama team who thought he deserved one of four slots.

“Obviously, we’re not where we wanted to be at the beginning of the season, but we’re here now and want to make the most of it and play to the standards of Alabama football,” Jermer Gibbs said. I think.

Crimson Tide and Wildcats takes place Saturday at 11am at the Superdome.

Michael Casagrande is a reporter for Alabama Media Group. follow him on twitter @ByCasagrande or Facebook.