The Alabama Crimson Tide picked up right where they left off in the BCS title game with another dominant performance in their opener. The Tide rolled all over #8 Michigan in a blowout, 41-14. Bama scored three times in the first quarter, ending any doubt of the outcome in the opening frame. AJ McCarron went 11-21 for 199 yards and 2 TDs. He got help from freshman running back TJ Yeldon, who carried the ball 11 times for 111 yards and 1 TD.
After going three and out on their opening possession, Alabama went to work against a banged up Michigan team. The Tide pounded the ball on the ground, and McCarron made timely passes when they were needed. The Crimson Tide got 231 yards on the ground, and 430 overall. Alabama scored at will, and the Wolverines looked hopelessly outmatched.
Offense is clearly not going to be a problem this year for Alabama. As is almost always the case in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide have a very deep backfield. Yeldon looks like he could be a star in the making. The Tide also boasts one of the best receiving groups they’ve ever had. Couple that with McCarron, who is coming off a stellar performance in the BCS title game, and Alabama should light up the scoreboard this year.
The defense looked good for most of the game. A drop off was expected as Alabama lost a lot of talent to the NFL after last season. The biggest concern on the team has to be the secondary, which looked shaky at times yesterday. They gave up a few big plays, but luckily for the Tide the game was already over by then. Whether or not those were just mental lapses in a blowout, or real mistakes, will be revealed in just a couple of weeks. Alabama is set to play Arkansas, which boasts a deadly passing attack.
The Auburn Tigers did not get off to nearly as good a start. Auburn traveled to the Georgia Dome to take on the 14th ranked Clemson Tigers, and fell 26-19. Auburn gave up 231 rushing yards to Andre Ellington, and 528 yards of total offense. If Auburn is going to compete in the tough SEC West this year, the defense will have to pick up.
The Tigers got 194 passing yards out of QB Kiehl Frazier, and 106 rushing yards out of Tre Mason. Auburn got 374 yards of total offense, a good showing for the season opener. They had a 19-16 lead with a little over 9 minutes left the game, but could not hold on as Clemson moved the ball to easily. In a division with offensive powerhouses like Alabama and Arkansas, Auburn will have to turn things around quickly.
South Alabama also opened the season with a loss. The Jaguars fell to UTSA 33-31. Turnovers doomed the Jags, as they gave the ball up 4 times. QB CJ Bennett 15-24 for 182 yards and 2 TDs. Demetre Baker led the ground attack with 12 carries for 63 yards and 1 TD. South Alabama fell behind early, but fought back and were battling until the end, scoring 2 fourth quarter touchdowns to draw close.