Week 1

Alabama 52, USC 6: 5 Things That Matter


Alabama destroyed USC making a definitive No. 1 statement. What are the 5 Things That Matter from the blowout?


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Alabama’s quarterback situation was fine after all

After all the speculation and all the theories about who the Alabama quarterback was going to be, in the end, it turned out that all of them were fine. Cooper Bateman hit his one pass, Blake Barnett completed 5-of-6 passes for 100 yards and a score, and despite losing a fumble on his first snap and later throwing a pick, Jalen Hurts turned out to be the main man.

There were a few true freshman moments, but along the way, Hurts completed 6-of-11 passes for 118 yards and two scores, and ran nine times for 32 yards and two touchdowns. Will he have the gig all to himself now? Probably not, but he’s the most dynamic option. If the rest of the team plays like it did against the Trojans, Nick Saban can afford to play Hurts.

USC’s quarterback situation didn’t matter after all

The Trojan quarterbacks didn’t stand a chance against the ultra-athletic Alabama defense. Max Browne completed just 14-of-29 passes for 101 yards and a pick, but he didn’t have much to work with – the receivers weren’t getting free. Sam Darnold didn’t get a chance to take off much when he got his chance, and the game was out of hand by the time he checked in. None of the other skill players showed up, but the quarterbacks didn’t make anyone better, either.

America, welcome to Damien Harris

Bo Scarbrough will come up big this year, but he was held in check with just 36 yards and no big runs. However, Damien Harris looked like the Next Big Thing Bama back highlighted by his 73-yard scoring dash. He only ran nine times, but he took off for 138 yards behind a line that destroyed the USC front. At the very least, the Crimson Tide have their 1-2 rushing punch again.

194 yards of total offense. Really?

USC has four and five-star talents, too. It has running backs and receivers who are every bit as good as Alabama’s and it has speed and athleticism across the board. None of it mattered once the Crimson Tide lines started going to work. The Trojans not only couldn’t get physical; they weren’t even close after the first quarter.

Did the team quit? That’s too harsh, but they certainly became demoralized early in the second half. Once it became obvious the offensive gameplan was in the tank, it became a nice scrimmage for the Tide.

What Does This All REALLY Mean?

Well that settles that. Until further notice, Alabama is the No. 1 team in college football. This was a good, talented USC team that just got its guts ripped out. Now the Crimson Tide have to deal with the Western Kentucky offense, and then it’s the Ole Miss showdown on the road. It’s just one game, but for now, Alabama looks the part – again.

USC is in big, big trouble. Can it gear it up for a dangerous Utah State team? Yeah, but then come the physical battles on the road at Stanford and Utah. If the lines get manhandled the way they were by the Crimson Tide – or anywhere close to it – this isn’t going to get much better.