The Tide were on their game offensively and defensively as they started their campaign for Nick Saban’s 7th national title with a victory, a seemingly repetitive trend for ‘Bama under Saban as they’ve won all 14 season openers with him as the head coach.
After each team opened with a stop, the Tide offense got rolling. Mizzou was running a redshirt freshman and a freshman at corner after Jarvis Ware got hurt, and Alabama took full advantage, especially Jaylen Waddle. Waddle finished with eight catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Side note: It is completely unfair the Tide lose two first round picks at receiver and still manage to have two potential first round picks.
Anyway, the next three drives ended up with Alabama punching it into the end zone to go up 21-0. Mizzou was driving down 7-0, but were stuffed on an option play on 4th down. Mizzou did get a field goal, but the Tide responded with another touchdown and it was 28-3 going into the half.
The second half also started with, you guessed it, an Alabama touchdown. Then they started to take their starters out including getting some reps for Bryce Young at quarterback. I will give some credit to Mizzou here, as they kept battling and got a couple of late touchdowns to give some optimism moving forward against teams not named Alabama.
Quarterback and TCU Horned Frogs transfer Shawn Robinson was 19-for-25 for 185 yards and a touchdown. He did make some weird decisions when trying to escape the pocket including an ugly fumble. He will certainly need to learn to throw the ball away. The second half showed enough for Tiger fans however to have some optimism despite the rigorous early season schedule.
Some other notable performances included Najee Harris going for 98 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Daniel Wright was all over the field for Alabama making 11 tackles including one for a loss. Dylan Moses returned after missing a lot of action for four tackles and two for a loss. Mizzou tried to go side to side a lot on offense and Moses was always there, It seemed to turn it back inside and shut it down. Larry Rountree III ran for 67 yards on 14 carries and seemed to do better, like the Tigers offense in general, when they were going north and south. Martez Manuel came up from his safety position to make 3.5 tackles for a loss.
We will know more about Eliah Drinkwitz team when they head to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers next Saturday. The Tide, meanwhile, face off against the Texas A&M Aggies in their home opener in a matchup of two Top 10 teams.