New names, new numbers, and new coaches. an equivalent result. No. 1 Alabama’s 44-13 win against No. 16 Miami to open the 2021 season was beyond the type of predictable dismantling of an influence Five non-conference opponent we’ve come to expect from the Crimson Tide. With new starters at several key spots and a replacement offensive coordinator, Alabama placed on a show against the not-ready-for-prime-time Hurricanes to quite justify the preseason hype surrounding the newest Nick Saban-coached team set to form a run at the school Football Playoff and therefore the national championship.
Ahead 27-3 at halftime, the Tide stopped Miami one yard shy of the line on the opening drive of the third quarter then scored on a 94-yard touchdown pass 50 seconds later, in as demoralizing a moment of play imaginable between two ranked teams. New year, same story: Despite the changing cast of characters, Alabama looked so good against Miami to quickly draw comparisons to the 2020 team that made a case for being the foremost dominant team during a program history suffering from dominance.
Mac Jones is out, Bryce Young is in. The second-year player completed 27 of 38 attempts for 344 yards and 4 scores, setting a record for touchdown passes by an Alabama quarterback in his first career start. Young looked the part of a Heisman Trophy contender who quite earned the subtle praise Saban heaped on the previous five-star recruit during the spring and summer. Steve Sarkisian is out, replaced by Bill O’Brien. Saban’s latest reclamation project inherited the bones of 1 of the foremost productive offenses in college football history. initially glance, any changes installed by the previous Houston Texans head coach only complement the schematic foundation left in situ by his predecessor.
Alabama gained 508 yards of offense in O’Brien’s debut, averaging 6.6 yards per play and 4.1 yards per carrying, with 28 first downs, 10 third-down conversions, and 4 touchdown drives of 74 or more yards. Defensively, the Tide held Miami to 248 yards of offense, just 70 approaching the bottom, and made three turnovers. In all, the defining characteristic of Alabama’s romp was the team’s execution. Despite the roster turnover, the Crimson Tide looked in midseason form.
The big battle in Big Ten: Penn State shows grit in the win, sets itself up as Ohio State’s biggest threat in Big Ten East The rout comes with obvious questions on what it means to beat Miami, or where the Hurricanes would squeeze an SEC hierarchy topped by a minimum of six or seven teams with genuine aspirations of reaching a serious bowl.
From the Hurricanes’ perspective, this type of loss may be a cruel reminder of the gap separating the second or third tier of school Football Playoff contenders from the elite teams that rule that conversation, an inventory that when again begins with the Crimson Tide. what’s not up for debate is how the Tide would answer the offseason changes, which in terms of lost production exceeded the norm even for a programmer familiar with losing multiple stars at the top of any given season. That message has been sent: Alabama didn’t miss a beat to begin another run at perfection.