There are a lot of unknowns entering the first season at Missouri for coach Eli Drinkwitz. That goes for the Alabama coaching staff trying to prepare for the Tigers and their season opener next week.

“This is a well-coached group,” coach Nick Saban said on a season preview radio show. “They had a really good team at App State. Actually had a chance — I think they beat North Carolina and South Carolina last year. They did a really, really good job of coaching, so we expect they’ll do the same thing at Missouri.”

Saban explained how and where the Crimson Tide gather information for a new coaching staff.

“I think you have to go back — and you never know for sure what a team is going to do when they have a new coach, but history is the best indicator of what the future is going to bring,” Saban said.

Along with App State, Saban said they also will examine what his new offensive assistants did at their previous stops and how it could apply to their personnel at Missouri.

Mizzou kept defensive coordinator Ryan Walters and Saban feels like there “won’t be a whole lot of changes from what they’ve done in the past.”

Having veteran players on the field for Alabama will make it easier to adapt to anything new from Missouri as the game unfolds, he said.

Saban discussed the players managing COVID-19 protocols and the daily testing he announced earlier this week.

“I think that we want to do everything that we can to have the players feel safe, feel like they’re in the best possible circumstance they can be in to go out every day and compete against each other, be here every day in meetings and so forth,” Saban said. “What they do when they’re not here is probably a greater risk than when they are here because of who they associate with and how they associate. If they don’t wear a mask and they don’t practice social distancing, then they put themselves at risk when they’re not here.”