Alabama entered their season-opener on Saturday night against the Utah State Aggies as a 41 point favorite. It did not take long for the Crimson Tide to blow past that mark on their way to a 55-0 blowout win. Alabama asserted their will in the first half as they went into the halftime break with a 41-0 lead. The luxury of such a large lead allowed most of the Alabama starters to end their night after the first series of the third quarter when the second team came in to finish off the win, led by redshirt-freshman quarterback Jalen Milroe.
Bryce Young Picks Up Where He Left Off
After winning the Heisman Trophy in 2021, Bryce Young wasted no time getting back into the swing of things. Young managed to put six touchdowns on the board in just over 2 quarters of work. He went 18-for-29 for 195 yards through the air and connected with three different receivers for five total touchdown passes. Traeshon Holden and Jermaine Burton each caught two, while Jase McClellan grabbed the other touchdown ball from Young.
Young also attacked the Utah State defense on the ground, carrying the ball 5 times for 100 yards and a touchdown. His 100 yards on the ground is more than than he rushed for during the entirety of the 2021 season. Young’s rushing performance comes as no surprise however. Young worked diligently during the offseason to add 10 to 12 pounds of muscle to his frame in an effort to become even more durable and be able to withstand the extra contact that comes from running the football.
New Faces Make Immediate Impact
The Crimson Tide bolstered their roster during the offseason by bringing in a highly-touted recruiting class as well as a handful of high profile transfers from other programs. The most notable of the transfers was Jahmyr Gibbs who transferred in from Georgia Tech. Gibbs earned All-American honors last season for the Yellow Jackets, and just like Young, didn’t miss a beat to start the 2022 season. Gibbs ran the football nine times for a total of 93 yards punctuated by a 58-yard scamper to open the third quarter. His explosive speed and big-play ability bodes well for the Crimson Tide as their new-look offensive line still has a few questions to answer.
Joining Gibbs as a fresh face on this year’s edition of Alabama Football is University of Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton. Burton looked right at home in the season-opener as he connected with Bryce Young to catch five balls on eight targets for 35 yards and two touchdowns. Complementing Burton’s performance was another first year player for the Crimson Tide in true-freshman Kobe Prentice. Prentice lived up to the preseason hype and then some. Like Burton, he also caught five passes from Young for a total of 60 yards. Prentice’s 12-yard per catch average was only surpassed by battery-mate Traeshon Holden who averaged 14 yards per grab as he too caught 5 passes from Young for a total of 70 yards and two of the five touchdowns that Young amassed through the air. While it’s still early in the season, the receiving corps that Young has at his disposal for 2022 appears to be an embarrassment of riches.
Alabama takes the field next at Texas on September 10. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. local time.