The Tide roll over MTSU

Published: Sep. 2, 2023 at 11:17 PM EDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It was smooth sailing for the Alabama Crimson Tide in their 2023 season opener against Middle Tennessee.

The Tide, led by quarterback Jalen Milroe, took down the Blue Raiders 56-7.

Alabama set the tide early in the first quarter, going 63 yards on just six plays for their first touchdown of the night after a 21-yard run by QB Jalen Milroe. Just six minutes later, Alabama was on the board yet again. Jase McClellan capped off Alabama’s 11-play, 47-yard drive with a one yard touchdown run for the second Crimson Tide touchdown of the night.

The Blue Raiders struggled to move the ball against the tough Crimson Tide defense, having to punt on all three of their first quarter possessions.

The Alabama offense took some time to get going in the second quarter, but after a 13-yard touchdown run from Jalen Milroe, his second of the night, they were right back on the board leading 21-0.

Less than two minutes later, Alabama was on the board yet again, and this time, they only needed one play to do it.

Jalen Milroe found Isaiah Bond for 47 yards and an easy Alabama touchdown, giving them the 28-0 lead going into halftime.

The Tide began the second half the exact same way they did the first half, driving straight down the field and putting the ball in the end zone. Milroe used his legs again for the Crimson Tide offense, taking a carry for 25 yards to midfield. Moments later, Milroe found Jermaine Burton for a 48 yard touchdown pass, giving the Tide a 35-0 lead.

After forcing MTSU to punt the ball again, Milroe and the Crimson Tide offense didn’t take long to score yet another touchdown.

After hitting Isaiah Bond for a five yard gain, Milroe found Amari Niblack for 29 yards and a touchdown, Milroe’s second 25+ yard touchdown pass of the night.

MTSU and Alabama exchange punts on their next two drives before MTSU was finally able to get the ball into the end zone for the first time of the night. Nicholas Vattiato capped off an 11-play, 68-yard drive for the Blue Raiders by finding Bryce Bailey for a 7-yard touchdown pass late in the 3rd quarter.

A new QB entered the game for the Crimson Tide in the 4th quarter. Tyler Buchner saw his first action of the night, and he didn’t take long to get the Crimson Tide on the board again. Buchner answered MTSU’s 11-play, 68-yard drive with a 10-play, 77-yard touchdown drive of his own, capping it off with a 9-yard touchdown run by himself.

After forcing a Blue Raider fumble late in the 4th quarter, Alabama saw their third quarterback of the evening, Ty Simpson, come into the game for the first time.

Simpson came into the game and did the exact same thing that Milroe and Buchner did earlier in the night; led Alabama straight down the field for another Tide touchdown.

After three runs from Richard Young to get Alabama into the red zone, Simpson took a one-yard carry into the end zone, making him the third different Alabama quarterback to rush for a touchdown against MTSU Saturday night.

Milroe led the way statistically for the Tide Saturday night, going 13-18 for 194 yards and three touchdowns through the air, and taking seven carries for 48 yards and two more scores on the ground.

In true Alabama defensive fashion, the Tide held the Blue Raiders to just 211 total offensive yards and only seven points.

The Tide will be back at home next week at Bryant-Denny taking on the Texas Longhorns.

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