Alabama football commenced its season impressively, securing a commanding 56-7 triumph against “Middle Tennessee State” at Bryant-Denny Stadium. While the Crimson Tide made easy work of the Blue Raiders, there are several key takeaways from this season-opening win.
1. Quarterback Brilliance
Jalen Milroe showcased his talent as the starting quarterback, displaying impressive composure and skill. Milroe completed his first seven passes for 52 yards and turned a potential sack into a remarkable touchdown run. He finished the game with a remarkable 10-for-13 passing, accumulating 112 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Buchner also had his moment in the spotlight, scoring a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
2. Points Galore
Under the guidance of new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, Alabama’s offense demonstrated its versatility. While it may not have been a complete replication of Rees’s Notre Dame system, there was a noticeable emphasis on utilizing tight ends. Milroe’s second-quarter touchdown run, with assistance from tight end Amari Niblack’s crucial block, highlighted this emphasis. Additionally, the offense showcased a collaborative effort, with contributions from various players like Jase McClellan, Roydell Williams, Isaiah Bond, and Kobe Prentice.
3. Dominant Defense
Although the true test awaits next week against Texas, Alabama’s defense proved its mettle against Middle Tennessee State. The Crimson Tide consistently pressured MTSU’s quarterback, forcing rushed and ill-timed throws. The defense held firm, allowing MTSU to score only late in the third quarter. Kevin Steele, in his first game as defensive coordinator, led a spirited defensive unit that included an interception by Jaylen Key.
A Complete Team Effort
This win highlighted Alabama’s depth and the potential for contributions from numerous players. Penalties were kept in check, the offensive line was dominant, and downfield blocking was exemplary. Players like Chris Braswell, Jaylen Key, and Kool-Aid McKinstry shone brightly. The team’s depth and versatility bode well for the season ahead.
While perfection may still be a work in progress, Alabama’s comprehensive performance in this opener left fans and critics impressed. The team appears more complete and well-rounded, offering promise for the challenges that lie ahead in the season. Coach Nick Saban’s optimism during the summer appears to have been well-founded, and the Crimson Tide seems poised for another successful campaign.