Just months after winning the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship, the Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0) look to be on the same level, if not better. The reigning champs had a big opponent to kick off the 2021 season against the #14 Miami Hurricanes. Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King felt that they had the keys to make an upset happen in Atlanta, Georgia. The Tide, however, showed their progress during the off-season on both sides. Alabama looks to be one of the most complete teams in college football after their dominating 44-13 performance over Miami.
Biggest Takeaways from #1 Alabama Dominating #14 Miami 44-13
Quarterback Bryce Young Ahead of Schedule in Production and Leadership
The biggest question mark for the Tide’s offense is if sophomore quarterback Bryce Young would be able to lead an offense that ranked second in the nation in points per game (48.5) last season. Young not only proved he could lead but that he could make the offense even better this season. In his starting debut for the Tide, Young broke the Hurricanes and program records. Young thew for 344 yards, four touchdowns, a QBR of 94.2 on 27 completions (out of 38 passing attempts). Young rarely showed panic while in the pocket or running from blitzes as he looked for open receivers. He never forced the ball to his receivers tightly contested by the defensive backs. Young waited for the perfect opportunities to make the throws to his receivers, even some at the beginning of their routes.
He also threw his passes to several different receivers. Alabama had six receivers and tight ends accounting for at least three receptions. Young’s best throw was a 94-yard touchdown pass to former Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jameson Williams early in the third quarter. Young played like one of the best offensive players in week one of college football releasing the ball perfectly to his receivers and avoided pressure. He broke the program record of most passing yards and touchdowns in their first career start after his magnificent performance. Young already has made an impression on Tide Nation and the rest of college football for his magnificent performance.
Defense Flexes Hard Early in the Season
Last season, the Tide’s defense took several steps back in terms of efficiency. Alabama allowed 48 points to the Ole Miss Rebels and 46 points to the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship. There was pressure on third-year defensive coordinator Pete Golding to prepare his defense more efficiently this season. Against the Hurricanes, that same Tide efficiency in recent seasons returned as they tortured Miami’s offense. Alabama’s defense made their presence known in the first quarter by instantly shutting the running game. The defense only allowed 107 total yards from Miami in the first half, including 29 from the running game. Miami was only 1-of-6 in third-down conversion as they were constantly feeling pressure from players like sophomore outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr.
Anderson is only proving to get better as one of college football’s most tenacious defenders. Anderson was the team’s leading tackle with nine total tackles as he constantly crashed into the backfield. He also accounted for one tackle for loss and one sack as he pressured King often in the pocket. Defensive tackle/end Phidarian Mathias was also in the backfield as he also helped shut down the running game of the Hurricanes. Mathias accounted for five total tackles, one tackle for loss, and a sack. The defensive backs for Alabama had a great opening performance against a determined Hurricanes’ offense, led by King. Alabama forced two interceptions from King with Jaylen Moody and Malachi Moore being the players to pick him off. The defense for Alabama only allowed 266 total yards from Miami, who averaged 439.8 total yards from last season.
The Championship-Contending Vibe Is Back at an All-Time High
After week one, the Tide has the biggest hype for the College Football Playoffs. Their offense looks to be even better than last year’s elite performance. Young is Vegas’ new leading favorite to win the Heisman Trophy after a dominant performance. Defensively, Alabama looks to be back in business to one of the most efficient defenses in college football after an up-and-down performance last season. Despite it being week one, the championship-contending vibes are as high as it has ever been. The Tide will host the Mercer Bears (1-0) next Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Alabama is 3-0 all-time versus Mercer, with their last matchup going back to the 2017 season when Alabama won 56-0.