The Crimson Tide opened the season with a shutout for the first time in 34 years while limiting the Aggies to seven first downs and 136 yards of total offense
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Junior quarterback combined for 295 yards of total offense and six touchdowns to lead the top-ranked University of Alabama football team past Utah State, 55-0, Saturday night in front of 98,321 fans inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Tide opened the season with a win for the 16th-straight year under head coach Nick Saban.
Young finished the night with a team-leading and career-high 100 yards rushing (five rushes) while throwing for an additional 195 yards on 18-of-28 passes with five touchdowns. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs finished with 93 yards on nine carries in his Crimson Tide debut. Juniors Traeshon Holden (5 catches, 90 yards, 2 TDs) and Jermaine Burton (5 catches, 35 yards, 2 TDs) combined for 10 receptions, 125 yards and four touchdowns to lead the aerial attack.
Redshirt senior Jaylen Moody paced all Tide defenders with five tackles, including one for loss and one quarterback hurry. In all, Alabama’s defense accounted for five tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries and a forced fumble on the way to the team’s first shutout in a season opener in 34 years.
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban Said
“I was really pleased with the way the players approached this game. I thought we had good energy, I thought we had good intensity. We had good preparation throughout this week. [Utah State is] challenging with some of the things they do. I thought the first group did a really good job and we had a lot of intensity. And we’ve missed some things which we need to clean up, but for the most part I thought the first group did a really good job in this game. It was as good team win. I thought the offense played well, defense played well and, except for at the end when we got to punt block, the special teams were solid. But there are things that we need to improve on and get better at and players need to understand the importance of sustaining the kind of intensity they have, whether it’s in preparation or practice, so that we can build and improve as a team. Utah State played hard they have a good team. No disrespect to them, but we’re going to play teams that are much more physical and aggressive and talented than what they are. So, we’re going to have to do things correctly and it’s going to be important the guys get to understand that. I told all the young players on the team that if they are going to get an opportunity to play, are you going to be able to take advantage of that? Are you prepared to go out there and take advantage of doing your job? Knowing what to do and go out there and get five or six penalties, wrong formations, holding calls. It’s good experience for them, but I think the biggest thing is the lesson that they learned in terms of how you have to prepare for a game so you can take advantage of an opportunity when it comes to. We [were able] to play a lot of players. I wish we could even play more but we’re trying to get guys experience to make our team better. And that was the number one goal when we started subbing guys in later on in the game.”
- The shutout victory marked the first time in 34 years that Alabama has opened the season without allowing a point to its opponent (defeated Temple, 37-0 on Sept. 10, 1988)
- The 55-point margin is the largest margin of victory in a season opener in the Saban-era
- Prior to Saturday’s nights win, Saban guided the Crimson Tide to a 48-point win exactly seven years ago to the day when UA defeated USC 52-6 on Sept. 3, 2016
- The Crimson Tide scored on the first nine offensive drives of the contest en route to the shutout win
- Bryce Young matched his career high with the five touchdown passes, the fourth time across his 25-career games for the Crimson Tide that he has achieved the feat
- The Tide’s signal caller also secured a career-best 100 rushing yards in a contest on five carries
- The Alabama defense limited Utah State to only seven first downs, the fewest allowed in a game since holding Mississippi State to six on Nov. 10, 2018
- Alabama held Utah State to just 136 yards of total offense, including 57 yards passing and 79 yards rushing
- The first – and only – punt of the game for the Tide game late in the third quarter
- Paid attendance was 98,321
How It Happened
- 09:56 – UA | Will Reichard got the Crimson Tide on the board with a 45-yard field goal to cap off a seven-play, 44-yard drive that lasted 2:52
- 05:55 – UA | Bryce Young finished off a seven-play, 60-yard drive that took 3:02 off the clock when he threw his first touchdown pass of the season, finding Jermaine Burton in the back of the endzone to stake the Tide to a 10-0 lead
- 03:06 – UA | Young threw his second touchdown of the quarter when he found Traeshon Holden for a nine-yard connection which completed a three-play, 34-yard drive that lasted just 1:01
- 12:19 – UA | Burton’s second touchdown reception came off a two-yard reception from Young to finish off an 11-play, 82-yard drive that spanned 4:27.
- 10:14 – UA | Holden caught his second touchdown of the game off a 14-yard catch-and-run while the four-play, 77-yard drive lasted just 55 seconds and was highlighted by 63-yard carry by Young
- 02:56 – UA | Reichard connected on a 33-yard field goal to finish off an 11-play, 51-yard drive
- 00:15 – UA | Alabama closed out the half’s scoring with an eight-yard touchdown reception by Jase McClellan, the fifth touchdown pass for Young in the half, matching his single-game career high
- 13:37 – UA | Young accounted for his career-best sixth touchdown of the night when he scampered for a four-yard run to paydirt to finish off a three-play, 65-yard drive that took 1:19 off the clock
- 10:18 – UA | Redshirt freshman quarterback Jalen Milroe threw his first career touchdown pass when he found McClellan on a 17-yard strike that completed another short drive, lasting just 1:54 on four plays and 44 yards
- Alabama plays its first road game of the season in Austin, Texas next Saturday against the Texas Longhorns
- The Tide and Longhorns are scheduled for an 11 a.m. CT kickoff on Fox