The Tide rolled with ease against the Missouri Tigers in Columbia Saturday, posting a 38-19 victory. While this may have been expected, it was nonetheless fun to watch. At the half the score was 28-3 with no signs of getting any better for Missouri. Alabama seemingly took their foot off the gas pedal in the second half and cruised to an easy win during a season that is far from normal.
The Tide manufactured 414 yards of total offense. Jaylen Waddle seemingly erased any doubt of the Tide’s ability to replace Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy, hauling in 8 receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Devonta Smith managed a decent night as Waddle’s receiving partner, bringing in another 8 receptions for 89 yards. Najee Harris has not let up following a great 2019 campaign, leading the ground attack with 98 yards rushing with 3 touchdowns on 17 carries.
Here are a few takeaways from the Missouri game:
1. The SEC West is Alabama’s to lose
I know it seems too early to make a judgment such as this after only one week of SEC play. However, I believe it’s worth noting that the rest of the SEC west struggled mightily. Auburn struggled with Kentucky throughout most of their game. The defending national champions LSU never got off the bus versus Mississippi State. Arkansas gave UGA all they could handle in the first half, but still ended up losing by 27 points. Ole Miss’ defense couldn’t keep up with Kyle Trask and Florida, so it’s hard to imagine them putting up much of a fight versus a solid Alabama team. Unlike the other SEC West teams, Alabama never struggled against Missouri. From start to finish Alabama displayed poise and control. Based on what I’ve seen, I dont think anybody in the West will come out with a better record than Alabama.
2. Mac Jones can hold his own.
Mac threw with precision accuracy Saturday, only missing on 6 throws, a couple that were easily catchable. The game was managed from start to finish with no turnovers by his hand. He played 3 quarters and managed 249 yards and 18 completions on 24 attempts. Not necessarily Tua numbers, but definitely adequate.
3. Defense has a little work to do.
I know that this may seem like I’m taking something away from Alabama’s defense, but that can’t be any farther from the truth. The defense suffocated Missouri in the first half, but seemed to wind down and grow tired in the second half. Dylan Moses looked as good as he has ever been, but certain members on the defense need to work on schematics in coverage and tackling. Truth is, these things were expected during a season which saw no Spring training coaching points to work on during the Fall. We didn’t know what we would see against the Missouri offense, so all-in-all it was an incredible performance based on the limited amount of coaching they received preseason.
The season is off to a great start. I look forward to Alabama polishing up some mistakes they made, including a few pre-snap mishaps that weren’t necessary. Im sure Saban has a lot to coach on even in a win, and that is never a bad thing. While the Tide didn’t face adversity at any point Saturday, I believe they will be able to find things to work on. Here’s to football season finally being here. Roll Tide!
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Layne Gerbig is the lead basketball analyst and covers all sports at The University of Alabama on behalf of Tide Talk Sports. Follow him on Twitter @DeutscheBammer, and don’t forget to check back on this website for regular updates!