Alabama vs. Miami score, takeaways: No. 1 Tide dominate No. 14 Hurricanes as Bryce Young makes history

ATLANTA -- No. 1 Alabama throttled No. 14 Miami on Saturday afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, picking up a clean 44-13 win behind a tremendous output from sophomore quarterback Bryce Young. Making his first start for the Crimson Tide, Young completed 27 of his 38 passes for 344 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. The four-touchdown performance breaks the mark set by Joe Namath and Mac Jones for the most touchdown passes in a debut as an Alabama starting quarterback.

Young, who played in nine games last year -- mostly in mop-up duty -- was 9 of 14 for 103 yards and one touchdown in the first quarter with the scoring strike going to veteran wide receiver John Metchie III for 37 yards. He found tight end Cameron Latu for scores twice in the second quarter and Jameson Williams on a 94-yarder -- tied for the longest in program history -- in the third.

That 94-yarder was huge, at least in terms of momentum. Miami couldn't get anything going offensively and trailed 27-3 going into the locker room. Quarterback D'Eriq King moved the Canes to the 1-yard line on 13 plays to open the third quarter, but Alabama thwarted a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal to end the drive. Three plays later, Young found Williams for the back-breaker. 

Alabama did find out a lot about its running game, too. Brian Robinson Jr. was a key piece of the puzzle early, rushing for 52 yards in the first quarter in his first game as the true No. 1 running back. Any questions surrounding the future of the Alabama offense were answered early in the beatdown in the Benz.

1. Young is the real deal

All eyes were on the former No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2020 as he made his debut as the Crimson Tide starting quarterback, and he didn't disappoint. His four touchdown passes are tied for the most in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game history with ex-Tide signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa and former Ole MIss star Bo Wallace. The stats don't tell the whole story, though.

Young showed right out of the gate that he isn't a run-first quarterback. Even though he's technically a dual-threat, he showed tremendous poise keeping his eyes downfield on the first five drives of the game -- all of which ended in scores. His pocket presence and comfort within coordinator Bill O'Brien's offense was apparent from the get-go, which is a great foundation for the future.

Week 1 is the time of the year when we all get to overreact to everything. Through 60 minutes of his career as a starter, Young looks like he could be the best quarterback Saban's recruited for the Tide. After all, he sliced and diced an experienced Miami defense despite the fact that Alabama lost three of the top five Heisman Trophy vote-getters (including the winner), the Rimington Award winner, Outland Trophy winner and Broyles Award winner. Imagine what he will do when he gets to use his legs and gets even more comfortable with his offensive weapons.

2. Alabama has a few freak shows

Poor King ... he had no chance in the pocket. Linebackers Will Anderson, Jr. and Christian Harris, defensive lineman Phildarian Mathis and the rest of the Alabama front seven were all over him from the moment the Hurricanes offense took the field. Defensive coordinator Pete Golding did a great job of getting Anderson in one-on-one situations, and when Miami finally had somebody over there to help out, it freed up Harris and Co. to set up shop in the backfield.

The talk going into the game was that Alabama's defense is not only its strength but could be Saban's best ever. That's like choosing between $50 steaks; no matter which one you pick on the menu, you're not going to be disappointed. However, the speed of these dudes is next-level. If it isn't the fastest front seven in Bama history, I'd be shocked.

There was some bad news, though. Linebacker Christopher Allen was carted off of the field in the first half with a lower leg injury and did not return. Saban said after the game that he will miss a significant amount of time. It didn't matter much against Miami especially since Alabama has been rotating multiple linebackers since the start of fall camp. We'll see what comes of it -- if anything -- in the future.

3. Miami's defensive game plan was brutal

There were two trains of thought heading into this one for coach Manny Diaz: bring heat on Young or sit back in coverage and try to force mistakes on the back end. He chose the latter, and he chose poorly. The defensive front for Miami managed just one sack, and for the better part of the first half, was dropping eight players into coverage. What's even more perplexing is that Diaz, who took over play-calling duties prior to the season, is known for bringing pressure from all angles in a variety of different ways.

It just didn't make sense. It was clear that Young wasn't deterred by the coverages, so there was no need to wait until halftime to try to make adjustments. In this case, it was clearly too late (and probably wouldn't have mattered in the end).

0
0
SAT 3:30 P
MIAMI +19.5, o61.5
ABC
MIAMI 19.5, O/U 61.5

Season Leaders

passing
headshot-image
B. Young 1734 YD, 20 TDS, 3 INTS
headshot-image
B. Young 1734 YD, 20 TDS, 3 INTS
headshot-image
D. King 767 YD, 3 TDS, 4 INTS
headshot-image
D. King 767 YD, 3 TDS, 4 INTS
rushing
headshot-image
B. Robinson Jr. 97 ATT, 526 YD, 6 TDS
headshot-image
B. Robinson Jr. 97 ATT, 526 YD, 6 TDS
headshot-image
C. Harris 65 ATT, 383 YD, 5 TDS
headshot-image
C. Harris 65 ATT, 383 YD, 5 TDS
receiving
headshot-image
J. Williams 27 REC, 510 YD, 5 TDS
headshot-image
J. Williams 27 REC, 510 YD, 5 TDS
headshot-image
C. Rambo 31 REC, 387 YD, 2 TDS
headshot-image
C. Rambo 31 REC, 387 YD, 2 TDS
Live updates
(79)
See New Posts
Pinned
@AlabamaFTBL via Twitter
September 4, 2021, 10:25 PM
Pinned
@CanesFootball via Twitter
September 4, 2021, 10:19 PM
Pinned

Moral victory?

The first touchdown of Miami's season came with 5:18 to play in the third quarter, when D'Eriq King lofted a beautiful touchdown pass down the left sideline to Xavier Restrepo for 29 yards. That score cut the Alabama lead to 41-10. With that said, it appears than Bama defensive coordinator Pete Golding isn't exactly getting after the quarterback in the same way he was in the first half. Basically, Bama's still in cruise control despite the slight bit of Miami momentum.

Pinned
@AlabamaFTBL via Twitter
September 4, 2021, 10:08 PM
Pinned

Trey Sanders pouring it on

Trey Sanders, a once-heralded recruit who has been bitten by the injury bug during his career, added to the blowout with a 20-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter. He cut back right after getting through the hole to cruise to the end zone to make it 41-3 Crimson Tide. They now have 133 rushing yards on the afternoon. Basically, this has turned into a scrimmage. Coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien found out what they needed to find out from Bryce Young and the passing game, and now they're working on building running back depth behind starter Brian Robinson Jr. This is an absolute beat down.

Pinned
@AlabamaFTBL via Twitter
September 4, 2021, 10:05 PM
Pinned
@AlabamaFTBL via Twitter
September 4, 2021, 10:05 PM
Pinned
@AlabamaFTBL via Twitter
September 4, 2021, 9:58 PM
Pinned

My, how the tables turned

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young barely -- and I mean BARELY -- got out of the tackle box in the end zone on a throwaway, which prevented a safety. One play later, he his Jameson Williams in stride deep over the middle for a 94-yard touchdown despite getting popped in the head in the end zone shortly after releasing the pass. That makes it 34-3. It is the fourth touchdown pass for Young, who has thrown for 295 yards in his debut as the Crimson Tide starting quarterback. Chalk that stop by the Bama defense on the goal line during the previous drive as one of the best plays of the day. 

Young has tied former Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace and former Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa for the most TD passes in a Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

Pinned
@AlabamaFTBL via Twitter
September 4, 2021, 9:53 PM
Pinned

King stuffed on the goal line

Alabama stuffed Miami quarterback D'Eriq King on the goal line on fourth-and-goal after the Hurricanes quick-snapped following a Cam'Ron Harris run down to the 1-yard line. It put an end to the first and only sustained drive of the afternoon for the Hurricanes. They had gone 74 yards on 14 plays, which included several quick crossing routes from 'Canes receivers. This is a huge drive coming up. If Miami can get the stop, maybe it can build upon the drive even though it came to a halt on the goal line.

Pinned

Miami kicks a sad field goal

Manny Diaz chose to send his kicking unit out at the end of the half instead of taking a shot at the end zone from the 20-yard line. It worked. Andy Borregales kicked a 37-yard field goal to cut Alabama's lead to 27-3, but that might not mean much. Miami has forced only one Alabama punt and receivers have been running wide open all afternoon. I get that Diaz wants points on the board, but he's going to have to perform coaching wizardry in the locker room to make enough adjustments to slow this Tide offense down.

Pinned
@CanesFootball via Twitter
September 4, 2021, 9:19 PM
See More