Tampa, FL – September 17, 2023
In a game marked by erratic weather conditions, quarterback swaps, and unexpected twists, the No. 10 Alabama Crimson Tide managed to secure a 17-3 victory against the USF Bulls, a Group of Five opponent. The contest took place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban decided to give Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner his first start of the season, replacing Jalen Milroe, who had started the initial two games. However, Buchner’s performance was underwhelming, completing just five of 14 pass attempts for a total of 34 yards. As a result, he was replaced by redshirt freshman Ty Simpson shortly before halftime.
Despite their offensive struggles, the Crimson Tide defense excelled in containing the USF offense, only allowing a field goal, which was a result of a muffed punt and a short field.
Simpson, who faced immense pressure throughout the game and was sacked five times, led Alabama’s first touchdown drive in the third quarter. The drive was ignited by a 45-yard pass to tight end CJ Dippre. Simpson later sealed the game for Alabama with a quarterback sneak for the second touchdown in the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach.
While the victory is certainly a positive outcome for Alabama, the game exposed various areas of concern, especially on the offensive front and in the quarterback position. With a challenging matchup against No. 17 Ole Miss looming at Bryant-Denny Stadium next week, the Crimson Tide will need to address these issues promptly.
Alabama’s triumph over USF marks an important step in the 2023 season, but there is much work to be done as they prepare for future challenges.
For more college football updates and insights, stay tuned.