Alabama Football did what it was supposed to do against Southern Mississippi. Winning by a bunch of points did not matter. Playing up to Crimson Tide standards mattered much. The Golden Eagles are not a good football team. With such a weak opponent, the young Alabama Crimson Tide could have been flat. It wasn’t. It was not perfect either, though in some facets of the game the Tide came close.
Nick Saban focused on making explosive plays in the week after Florida. The Tide delivered them in bunches against the Golden Eagles. It didn’t take much more than 10 seconds for the outcome to be determined. Jameson Williams took the opening kickoff and returned it 101 yards for a touchdown. It was the first of several explosive Crimson Tide plays.
Reviewing Alabama Football Numbers vs. Southern Miss
- Explosive Plays – seven offensive plays of 25 yards or more, plus six more of 20 yards or more.
- Total offensive production was 608 yards – 395 yards through the air and 213 yards on the ground.
- With Brian Robinson Jr. recovering from injured ribs, Jase McClellan started and Roydell Williams was RB2. Williams ran for 110 yards, with a long run of 55 yards. McClellan totaled 97 yards on 12 carries.
- Bryce Young was nearly perfect. He was 20-for-22 for 313 yards and five touchdowns. His Boxscore QB rating was a sensational 276.3. And his one interception was a perfectly thrown ball.
- Jahleel Billingsley caught five passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
- John Metchie III caught seven passes to lead the team in receptions.
- Along with an 81-yard touchdown reception, Jameson Williams had two kickoff return touchdowns – becoming the first Tide player to do that in a single game.
- Javon Baker had two catches, including one tightly covered reception for a touchdown.
- The Baker TD was a perfectly thrown 24-yard pass by Jalen Milroe.
- Nick Saban was not completely satisfied, but the Tide defense got off the field on 10-of-15, Southern Miss third downs.
- Crimson Tide defenders had two sacks, six tackles for a loss, and nine quarterback hurries.
- No surprise – Will Reichard was perfect on nine PATs.
What Nick Saban said about the game
Nick Saban had been concerned about his team’s attention to detail and playing with intensity for an entire game. After the game, Saban said,
"I was really pleased with the intensity that our players played with tonight. That’s one of the things we’ve been harping on."
Talking about Jameson Williams’ explosive performance, Nick said,
"I call guys like him a dawg. He loves playing, he plays hard, he plays fast and he’s got great speed."
Speaking about Jahleel Billingsley who had the Crimson Tide head coach said,
"Jahleel’s been practicing really well, so I think that’s something that we’ve wanted to develop for our team this year."
Alabama football fans can be relieved Billingsley is back to being in favor with Nick Saban. Saban also said he was pleased with students sticking around to the end.
Check out the link above for Alabama Football records believed to be beyond being broken. A couple of current Crimson Tide players may need to be added to the list.