Alabama needed 14 fourth-quarter points last season to come back and beat Mississippi State, 31-24, in Starkville. Much has changed ahead of this week’s game in Tuscaloosa, but QB Nick Fitzgerald believes they could re-live the script from 2017.

While he said last year has no bearing on this year, and football doesn’t matter if you win by a point, or six touchdowns, it does help knowing they can do it.

“You just take that a motivation and a little bit of extra confidence going in how we played last year, knowing that we can do that again,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said he’s had a chance to watch QB Tua Tagovailoa a bit from hotels.

“A lot of hype, in the preseason, and he really lived up to it,” Fitzgerald said. “Extremely talented passer. For a young guy, very calm in the pocket. He’s delivering the ball where he needs to, very well.”

Given the Alabama defense’s prowess, Fitzgerald was asked if he offers input to the game plan to try trick or gadget plays in case a long, sustained drive doesn’t work out. He said coaches take input, but it’s not his job to design plays, or tell them what to do.

“It’s my job to go out there and execute what their job is, which is game planning,” he said.

Fitzgerald said depending on the opponent, a team may have a defensive lineman, linebacker or defensive back who’s tops at their position, but Alabama has it across the board.

“All together, all around, they’re the best defense we’re going to face this year,” Fitzgerald said. “They’re fast, they’re gap sound, and they don’t do a lot of stuff, but they know exactly how to line up to everything you’re going to give them. They’re going to run every single play that you’ve run all season, they’re going to walk through it at least once.”