Alabama at Vanderbilt score, highlights: Tide demolish Commodores in rout
The Tide looked as you'd expect the top team in the country to look on Saturday in Nashville
Vanderbilt was riding high with its first 3-0 record since 2011 and a national audience to showcase coach Derek Mason's new-look, hard-nosed Commodores' program. One problem though -- Alabama lined up on the other side of the ball on Saturday afternoon.
The Crimson Tide throughly dominated the 'Dores for a full 60 minutes, en route to a 59-0 win over a team that had previously allowed just 13 total points all season.
What did we learn from the blowout in Nashville?
Alabama's rushing attack is more terrifying than ever: The depth chart in the Crimson Tide backfield is as deep as a trench in the Pacific Ocean. Damien Harris had 151 yards on 12 carries and scored three times, Bo Scarbrough "Bo-Doze'd" his way to 79 yards and two scores, true freshman Najee Harris had 70 and quarterback Jalen Hurts had 48 rushing yards with a long of 22. The Crimson Tide racked up a total of 496 rushing yards on the afternoon -- the most amassed by a Tide team coached by Nick Saban in a single game.
This against a Commodores rushing defense that came in allowing just 103 yards per game and 3.32 yards per attempt.
Yet, it served as the butter being sliced up by Bama's hot knife.
This serves as a massive insurance policy for the Crimson Tide.
It would have been nice to see the Tide expand the passing attack more, but after one quarter of play, the rushing attack had already put it so far out of reach that any pressure that was on Hurts as a passer had long since faded. But to have the kind of power, depth and versatility that Alabama has in its stable of running backs will limit the times Alabama gets out of its comfort zone this year -- if it ever gets there at all.
This rushing attack was the centerpiece in an offensive performance that produced 0.63 points per snap against Vanderbilt. There will be bro country songs written in Nashville tonight about how gorgeous this performance was.
Bama's defensive front is just fine, thanks: Da'Ron Payne was nearly unblockable, Joshua Frazier disrupted several plays in the backfield and Commodores quarterback Kyle Shurmur looked more at the oncoming pass rush than his receivers for the majority of the afternoon.
While this might seem par for the course for Alabama, the truth about this Alabama defense is that in the front seven it didn't have near the depth and experience that previous Saban defenses had.
Now it looks the way it should -- filthy.
Just one week ago, Saban was upset with the way that defense looked against Colorado State. It appears his frustration translated to focus, and then success.
With this defense set, the Tide solidified itself as the best team in the country on Saturday afternoon.
Vanderbilt tossed snake eyes on the big stage: This isn't the same Vanderbilt that existed during the first three weeks of the season. Maybe the anchor chain rusted, and the ship broke loose.
Shurmur was never composed, the front seven got dominated at the point of attack and the confidence the Commodores had during the 3-0 start to the season disappeared like free drinks on Broadway in downtown Nashville.
Now, it's Mason's turn to show the world what he's made of.
Saturday's loss was embarrassing, but it shouldn't wipe away the success he's had, the confidence that existed and the goals that remain are still possible. This team is capable of going to a major bowl and, based on how the rest of the SEC East has shaken out, potentially becoming relevant within the division.
But it's on Mason to not let Alabama "beat him more than once." If this loss lingers, the old Vanderbilt will come back.
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