After Alabama obliterated Miami on Saturday, it was easy to get caught in the hype of the win, how great Bryce Young played and how many yards of offense the Tide managed.
However, for the “last look” segment, we are going to take a step back and look at the game as a whole and take a deeper dive into what made Nick Saban’s squad so dominant against the Miami Hurricanes.
The Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game was a highly anticipated matchup for week one of the college football season. College football fans across the country were excited for a big game between two really good teams that was close and exciting.
The only problem is Bama is not a really good team — they look to be the best.
Alabama’s defense is what we hoped for
The defense was a question mark going into this game, but defensive coordinator Pete Goulding finally proved why Saban found him worthy to run the greatest defense in all the land. Bama had four sacks, seven tackles-for-loss and two interceptions.
Probably the most surprising stat of the night on defense was that no Tide player was credited with a QB hurry. Considering the way the defensive line played, it felt like the pressure was constant.
Bama’s defense was led by linebacker Will Anderson, Jr., who recorded nine total tackles, one tackle for loss and a sack. He was absolutely disruptive and flew around the field. Anderson and company limited the ‘Canes to only 266 total yards of offense on Saturday, nearly half of Alabama’s 501 yards.
The Crimson Tide offense we expected
Alabama’s offense continued its identity as a pass-heavy team again this year. They racked up 354 passing yards compared to just 147 yards on the ground, a statistic about a Saban team that wouldn’t have been believed five years ago.
Young had a lot to do with that, as did John Metchie, III, with 76 yards and a touchdown. Yet, the biggest surprise of the night was junior receiver Jameson Williams, who led the Tide in receiving yards with 126. He was the only receiver to break 100 yards.
What does all of this mean for Alabama and their passing game?
Basically, that it could be even more lethal than last year and the receiving corps is even more talented. Young can stand in the pocket and spread the ball around instead of relying so much on a star like Devonta Smith.
Eight receivers finished the game with more than one reception. Spreading the ball around like that is going to make Alabama nearly impossible to defend.
Quote from Coach Saban
To wrap things up, here is a quote from Coach Saban about his rising star quarterback, Bryce Young.
Saban said, “Most people look at the stats and say he was whatever he was for whatever he was for this many yards, but he redirects the protection, he plays like a veteran out there. … I was really impressed with the way he played in the game.”
Showing that stats don’t mean everything, Saban points out the ways a high-caliber quarterback needs to play and seems to be very pleased with his new star.
Young will lead his team into week two on a high horse after beating the 14th-ranked Hurricanes.
The Tide will be playing at the home base that is Bryant-Denny against a Mercer program that is known to try to make the big dogs of college football slip up.
That game is slated for Saturday, September 9, at 3:00 P.M. on SEC Network.
Hayden Crigler is a contributing college football and college basketball writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him through email: email@example.com or on Twitter: @hayden_crigler.