The Crimson Tide quarterbacks were responsible for eight of the team’s nine scores in the season-opening victory
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 4/3 Alabama football team opened the 2023 campaign with a resounding 56-7 win over Middle Tennessee Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd at Bryant-Denny Stadium. With the victory, the Crimson Tide won its 21st consecutive home game which stands as the fourth-best streak in program history.
Making just his second career start, quarterback Jalen Milroe shined against the Blue Raiders, accounting for five touchdowns and 242 total yards of offense. Milroe closed the night with 194 yards and three touchdowns through the air, while also rushing seven times for 48 yards and a pair of scores.
Eight different receivers caught at least one pass in the win, led by Isaiah Bonds five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. Both Jermaine Burton (3 receptions, 62 yards) and Amari Niblack (2 receptions, 49 yards) also found the back of the endzone for Alabama.
Defensively, the Tide was led by Caleb Downs’ eight tackles, which included six solo stops, while Deonte Lawson added seven tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. As a unit, Alabama combined to make three sacks, seven tackles for loss, six quarterback hurries and a pair of turnovers.
- Jalen Milroe earned the start at quarterback and was responsible for five total touchdowns responsible which is tied for third-most in Alabama school history (three passing, two rushing)
- Milroe, who was pulled from the game midway through the third quarter, finished with 242 total yards which included 194 through the air on 13-of-18 passing while also rushing for 48 yards on seven carries
- With the win over Middle Tennessee, Alabama improved its home winning streak to 21 consecutive games which is the fourth best in program history. The streak dates back to Nov. 23, 2019
- Alabama improved to 83-11-2 (.875) all-time across 96 home openers while head coach Nick Saban won for the 26th time in 28 home openers (26-2, .929) as a collegiate head coach
- After closing the 2022 season with an average of 7.9 penalties and 68.7 penalty yards per game, the Tide had just two penalties for 19 yards in the win against the Blue Raiders
- Alabama’s three quarterbacks (Milroe, Tyler Buchner, Ty Simpson) accounted for eight of the Tide’s nine touchdowns in the win (three rushing and five passing)
- The Tide won for the 52nd time in its last 53 games when it scores a touchdown on the team’s first offensive possession of the game
- The Alabama defense limited Middle Tennessee to 78 rushing yards in the contest to mark the eighth time in the last 14 games, and 18th time in the last 29 games dating back to 2021, that the Crimson Tide defense has held its opponent to under 80 yards rushing in a contest
How It Happened
- 10:49 – UA | Jalen Milroe opened the scoring when he scampered 21-yards for the Tide’s first touchdown of the season which capped off a six-play, 63-yard drive that only took 2:58.
- 04:15 – UA | The Tide scored on their second consecutive possession when Jase McClellan finished off a 11-play, 47-yard drive diving one yard in to find paydirt.
- 03:07 – UA | Milroe found the endzone for the second time when he had a 13-yard rushing touchdown to finish off a drive that lasted just 35 seconds and went 42 yards in just two plays
- 01:58 – UA | The Tide’s first passing touchdown came in grand fashion just before the half ended when Milroe connected with Isaiah Bond for a 47-yard reception on the first play of the drive
- 12:54 – UA | Jermaine Burton began the second half of the game with a 48-yard touchdown catch to spot Alabama to a 35-0 lead capping a six-play 75-yard drive that took 2:06 off the clock
- 10:25 – UA | Amari Niblack crossed the goal line after a 29-yard reception from Milroe on a drive that lasted only two plays and went 34 yards taking only 41 seconds
- 00:32 – MTSU | Middle Tennessee’s lone touchdown of the night came when quarterback Nicholas Vattiato connected with Bryce Bailey for a seven-yard score which finished off an 11-play, 68-yard drive that took 4:47
- 10:39 – UA | Quarterback Tyler Buchner scored his first touchdown for Alabama when he took it in from nine yards out to finish off the longest drive of the game, lasting 10 plays and going 77 yards in 4:47
- 05:58 – UA | Alabama finished off the scoring when quarterback Ty Simpson plunged in from a yard out to finish a drive that lasted 3:17 and went six plays and 33 yards
- Alabama will remain at home for a primetime matchup with No. 11 Texas next Saturday, Sept. 9
- The Crimson Tide and Longhorns are scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT kickoff on ESPN