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Final Practice Report of Season: Alabama Slinging in the Rain

Crimson Tide heads back outside only to to get doused by a Central Florida rain shower Sunday

ORLANDO, Fla. — Mother Nature has had a little fun at Alabama’s expense this week, especially Sunday afternoon.

Whereas Central Florida is known for the weather changing every 20 minutes or so, the Crimson Tide has understandingly had a tough time trying to get a handle on it.

On Saturday, rain was in the forecast so Alabama went across town to practice inside on the UCF campus. However, it didn’t rain.

Sunday, it didn’t look like it would rain so the Crimson Tide was back in its local training headquarters at Celebration High School. Of course, it rained, along with being 80 degrees out.

Either way, Nick Saban still had on his straw hat.

Nick Saban at Citrus Bowl practice

Nick Saban sports his usual straw hat at UCF on Saturday afternoon

Conditions are expected to very different when No. 13 Alabama faces No. 14 Michigan on Wednesday (noon, CT, ABC), partly cloudy with a high of 67 degrees.

Sunday’s viewing was the last of the season as Alabama will hold a closed workout Monday (with its usual Thursday-type practice), followed by a final walkthrough on Tuesday.

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Sophomore cornerback Patrick Surtain II was back in his usual spot after being excused Saturday for a family event.

With Trevon Diggs opting not to play in the Citrus Bowl, sophomore Josh Jobe is expected to start.

“Josh had a really good week of preparation, both in Tuscaloosa and here,” defensive coordinator Pete Golding said. “He's an extremely competitive kid. Obviously, he's got the skill set and the length that we want at that position and I think he's done a great job over the last two weeks, and Coach [Karl] Scott and Coach Saban, obviously, coaching him, locking in and focusing on his job and just controlling what he can control. Finishing on the ball, on the deep part of the field, is something that he's been working throughout the year that I think he's improved on. But he's been very good at the bottom of the route.

“He is an emotional kid but he's learned to control his emotion and not play emotional, and I think that's something that coach talks about a lot that's kind of showed up early. But he's maturing.”

Linebackers Dylan Moses (knee) and Joshua McMillon (knee), and defensive end LaBryan Ray (lower leg) all wore a black no-contact jersey and didn’t participate in team drills.

There was no sign of injured quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. 

Wide receiver DeVonta Smith has been wearing a support strip on his left hamstring, but took first-team reps. He was made available to reporters earlier Sunday — injured player are usually off-limits, so that’s another strong sign that he’ll play — and also commented on Jobe.

“With Josh, I feel that it's just the will to want to play this game and just the passion he has for it,” Smith said. “So with Josh, he goes out there, he practices hard every day. And that's just him wanting to do it. So he may get frustrated at times when things don't go his way, but it's not because he's a bad person. It's because he loves playing football.”

Link: Practice videos