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Alabama started off SEC play making a statement, dominating Vanderbilt by a score of 55-3. With the focus now on the Georgia Bulldogs after dethroning the Crimson Tide from the number one spot two weeks ago, the Tide has had back-to-back dominating performances to make sure that all of college football doesn't forget about the dynasty over in Tuscaloosa.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the dominating performance against Vanderbilt.
Has Bryce Young finally found his go-to receiver this year? The answer to that question remains to be seen, but Young and Brooks seem to have developed a connection. Brooks caught six passes for 117 yards and added two touchdowns to his stat sheet Saturday. Surprisingly, it took this long, but Brooks became the first Bama receiver of the year to record a 100-yard receiving game.
It is no surprise that Alabama looks to be more comfortable when they are running the uptempo offense. Against Texas two weeks ago, this was the only time the offense showed any positives. Fast forward to Saturday against Vanderbilt, the Crimson Tide offense implemented much more tempo than in previous weeks, and the result was their biggest offensive outburst of the season. Running uptempo every time Bama touches the ball on offense isn’t feasible obviously. But imagine if they could, who would stop this offense?
This was the best the offensive line has performed all season. The offensive line kept all three Alabama quarterbacks clean, allowing zero sacks on 43 pass attempts. Having an established pocket and plenty of time allowed the deeper pass routes to develop and gave the receivers the time they needed to break free from the coverage. Because of the play of the offensive line, Alabama had their best game through the air recording 400 passing yards. They also excelled in the run game opening up running lanes for the running backs in the second half as the Crimson Tide was just looking to run the clock out.
After a few games of maybe not having the success statistically in the pass rush that they wanted, Alabama finally turned the tide on Saturday. The Crimson Tide defense was consistently developing a pass rush and had a season-high five sacks with 2.5 of those from the leader of the defense, Will Anderson, Jr.
Alabama’s rush defense has been stellar all season, and against Vanderbilt, it was no different. The Crimson Tide defense held the Commodores to 14 rushing yards, which was the fewest they had held an opponent since giving up -1 rushing yards to Mississippi State on October 16, 2021. Thanks to the outstanding play of the linebackers, led by Henry To’oTo’o, the Crimson Tide defense held the Commodores to just 123 yards of total offense, the lowest of the season and the third time in four games that Alabama has held its opponent to fewer than 200 yards of total offense.
The Crimson Tide will look to keep the momentum going and the continued success next week as they travel on the road to Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday in a top 20 matchup against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
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