The Crimson Tide offense and defense excelled in the Southeastern Conference-opening win
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 2/2 Alabama football team flexed its muscles on both sides of the ball in a dominant 55-3 victory over Vanderbilt Saturday night inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The contest was the Southeastern Conference opener for both programs.
The Crimson Tide accumulated a season-best 628 yards of total offense that included 400 yards through the air while limiting the Commodores to just 123 yards of total offense and 14 rushing yards in the blowout victory.
Quarterback Bryce Young finished the game with season highs of 385 passing yards on 25-of-36 through the air, including four touchdowns, resulting in a 195.9 quarterback rating. Wide receiver Ja’Corey Brooks led all receivers with a career-best 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns on six catches – all of which came in the first half. Jase McClellan (11-78-1) and Jamarion Miller (9-63-2) combined for 141 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries to lead the ground attack.
Linebacker Will Anderson Jr. added three tackles for loss (-17) and two and a half sacks (-16) as part of his five total tackles to lead the defense. Linebacker Henry To’oTo’o had six tackles and added a tackle for loss (-4) to help make up the Crimson Tide’s eight total TFLs in the contest (-40).
Head Coach Nick Saban
“I think we’ve shown a pretty good pattern here of making improvements – a little bit of an upward trend. I think we are getting closer to playing the way we’d like to play. The challenges are greater, as we go, so we have to continue to focus on moving forward and improving. But we had some guys play really well tonight. Bryce (Young) played well, the defense played really well (and) I thought Ja’Corey Brooks played really well. I think the team played really well. I think the team sort of bought into everybody trying to play to a standard and I think this is probably the closest we’ve come to that so far this year and the key to the drill is can we continue to build on it.”
- In the first meeting between the teams since 2017, Alabama’s victory was the 23rd in a row over Vanderbilt dating back to 1985
- Head coach Nick Saban improved to 19-2 in Southeastern Conference home openers which includes a 15-1 mark as the head coach at Alabama (4-1 while at LSU)
- Vanderbilt rushed for 14 total yards against Alabama which is the fewest it has held an opponent since giving up -1 rushing yards to Mississippi State on Oct. 16, 2021
- The 499-yard differential in total offense in Saturday’s game was the fifth largest in Alabama history, and the largest since the Tide set the school record at Vanderbilt (Sept. 23, 2017) with 599 yards
- 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
- Young finished the game by throwing for a seasn-best 385 yards on 25-of-36 passing and four touchdowns
- He completed his first nine pass attempts of the game against the Commodores which gave him 11 consecutive completions dating back to the ULM game before the streak was snapped midway through the first quarter
- Prior to Saturday’s outing against Vanderbilt, Young’s season high for passing yards was 236 (vs. ULM)
- Young’s 316 yards passing in the first half were the most in his career and the most by an Alabama quarterback since Mac Jones threw for 342 yards in the opening half against Ohio State on Jan. 11, 2021
- Ja’Corey Brooks had a career game as he finished with six receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns, all of which came in the opening half of play
- Saturday marked Brooks’ first career 100-yard receiving game as he bettered his previous career-best total of 66 yards set in the CFP semifinal vs. Cincinnati
How It Happened
08:49 – UA | Ja’Corey Brooks caught four-straight balls from Bryce Young, the fourth coming from 21 yards away to cap the Tide’s second drive of the game that went 68 yards in 1:16
03:49 – VU | Joseph Bulovas connected from 40 yards away to finish off an 11-play drive that went 52 yards and lasted 5:00
00:35 – UA | Young’s second touchdown strike of the quarter was an eight-yard pass to Traeshon Holden which capped at 10-play, 75-yard drive that took 3:14 off the clock
13:22 – UA | Young found Brooks for a second time in the half when the duo connected on a 34-yard pass-and-catch on the first play after turning Vanderbilt over on downs
04:43 – UA | Jahmyr Gibbs was on the receiving end of a seven-yard pass from Young to cap a nine play, 77-yard drive that took 3:41 off the clock
00:00 – UA | Will Reichard connected on a 34-yard field goal as time expired to cap a four-play, 58-yard drive that took just 33 seconds
06:55 – UA | Reichard opened the scoring in the second half with a 21-yard field goal that finished a 12-play drive that went 84 yards in 5:18
02:56 – UA | Jase McClellan gave the Tide its first rushing touchdown of the contest when he took a handoff 12 yards to the house to cap a six-play, 55-yard drive that took 2:14 off the clock
05:11 – UA | A season-best 15-play, 87-yard drive that spanned 7:25 was finished off when Jamarion Miller rushed it in from a yard out for the score
00:32 – UA | Miller scored his second touchdown of the quarter on a 40-yard run to finish off a five-play, 53-yard drive that went 2:56
- Alabama will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., where it will take on the No. 10/10 Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS