Alabama Cruises to a 48-14 Win over the Mercer Bears in Bryant-Denny
The Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0) rolled over the Mercer Bears (1-1) in the 2021 home opener 48-14. The Crimson Tide entered the game a massive favorite and ultimately did not disappoint, utilizing strong defense and special teams to get out to a big lead.
Despite the lopsided score the Crimson Tide will come away with issues to work out going forward. Alabama punted on its first two drives of the game, three times overall, the defensive secondary allowed two touchdowns on miscommunicated coverages, nine penalties and even reliable kicker Will Reichard missed his first kick in over 100 attempts.
It took the Alabama special teams to get the scoring going, the Crimson Tide punt return unit broke through midway through the first quarter. Sophomore Chris Braswell got the block and sophomore Jase McClellan managed the scoop-and-score for the Tide.
The non-offensive touchdown seemed to spark the Tide as the Alabama defense managed an interception on the following drive. Five plays later the Crimson Tide was celebrating a 4-yard Brian Robinson touchdown run to take control of the game. Robinson led the Tide from the backfield with 10 carries for 70 yards and the touchdown.
Alabama went on to score on six of its next seven drives to open up the game.
After a record setting week one performance, sophomore quarterback Bryce Young completed 19-of-27 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns in his Bryant-Denny debut as a starter. Young found Slade Bolden, Jameson Williams and Jase McClellan for his three strikes.
Jase McClellan didn't tally a lot of yards but was still heavily involved in the game, he scored on the aforementioned blocked punt, a rushing touchdown and hauled in Young's final touchdown of the afternoon.
The Alabama defense held Mercer to just 1.9 yards per rush on 36 rushing attempts while opening the game with nine straight defensive stops. The Bears did however, get into the endzone in the second half on two defensive busted coverages against the Alabama backups.
A story to keep an eye on, sophomore linebacker Will Anderson left the game early with a lower leg injury. The injury is not believed to be significant but is certainly one to keep an eye on as Alabama lost Chris Allen in Week 1.
The Alabama Crimson Tide will head to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators next Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT to open up SEC play.
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