Alabama Football: Tide’s report card vs. Mercer Bears

Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama football
Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama football’s report card vs. Mercer

Offensive Line: C+

Alabama has one of the best offensive lines on paper, but they did not play like that against Mercer. The sack early was due to bad blocking, and Bryce Young can’t afford to take hits like that. He had to evade the pocket consistently, which also falls on the offensive line.

To be fair, the Tide are still working through their starting line. Expect Alabama football to tweak it some more in the upcoming weeks. Either way, protection has to be better early in games. You can’t rely on Young’s ability to evade. That needs to be a strength, and he currently has to do it to bail out his offense.

Defensive Line: A

The defense was dominant in the first half. Mercer runs a unique offense, and it couldn’t work because of Alabama’s ability to win the trenches. Alabama forced three sacks despite Mercer only throwing 18 passes. Everything worked for the defensive line, and the Bears couldn’t stop it.

Phil Mathis had a solid game that included a sack, but the entire unit thrived. Young and Dale also had a sack each. In the coming weeks, Alabama will rely more on the defensive line. Given the opponent’s preference to cut block, the defensive front should be applauded for their performance.