Alabama Football: More of the same for Tide and Canes

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

It did not take long after Alabama Football dispensed with Ohio State for the hype to commence for the 2021 season. Another season beginning with another Power Five opponent at a technically neutral site.

Invariably the opponent is over-hyped. The results never change. Another over-matched or out-matched opponent hits the canvas. Nine season-opening, neutral site games have gone the Tide’s way going back to 2009. In nine games,  either the opposing team was not as good as advertised or the Alabama Crimson Tide was undervalued – or both. The 2016 opening game was a blowout.

The first one, against Virginia Tech in 2009 was a tight affair for three quarters. Going into the final quarter, Alabama Football led by a point. The Tide dominated the Hokies in the fourth, scoring 18 points to seven, to win by ten.

The ten points were as close as any of the games have been and only matched by the 33-23 win over West Virginia in 2014. The nine-game stats become a bit skewed because Louisville in 2018 and Duke in 2019 were no match for the Crimson Tide. Including those two wins, the season-opener neutrals have produced 348 Crimson Tide points versus 118 points for the opponents. The average is a 26-point winning margin for the Tide at 39-13.

More of the same can be expected on Saturday, September 4. The Miami Hurricanes may be better than last season. They will have to be much better on defense. Head Coach, Manny Diaz has taken over the defensive play-calling. That is a job he does well. His problem will be execution by his players. The low point for his rush defense last season was surrendering 554 yards to North Carolina, plus another 224 yards in the air.

Alabama Football Running backs will feast

In 2020 the Canes had a serious problem with tackling. In the losses to North Carolina and Clemson, the Canes gave up an average of five yards per carry, after contact. In the two games, Maimi defenders missed 31 tackles. The Crimson Tide running back room must be expecting a feast and they should get it. The Canes return much of their 2020 defense, but that is a mixture of good and bad news for Dias.

The Canes can hope the revamped Alabama Football offensive line needs a few games to come together. The Miami defensive linemen are bring billed as a team strength. If they are and the Tide O-line unit needs time to build chemistry, perhaps the Tide will have to use Bryce Young’s arm. Otherwise, the game could be a run-heavy, vanilla display of what to expect from the Tide in 2021. That, along with a similar outcome of a Nick Saban team winning an opener with ease.

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Next. Tide will not be undefeated in '21. dark

Dias is predicting his run defense will be improved. What else is he going to say?