No. 1/1 Alabama Football Downs Mercer, 48-14, in Saturday’s Home Opener at Bryant-Denny Stadium

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 1/1 University of Alabama football team won its 20th straight home opener, and its 15th consecutive under head coach Nick Saban, when it defeated Mercer, 48-14, Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
 
Quarterback Bryce Young threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns after going 19-for-27 in his second start for the Tide. Young is now the first player in Alabama history with seven touchdown passes in his first two starts.

JoJo Earle led all receivers with 85 yards on seven catches, while John Metchie III added 70 yards on five catches. Running back Brian Robinson Jr. led all rushers with 70 yards on 10 carries, including a four-yard rushing score.

Linebacker Christian Harris led the Tide with eight tackles including four solo stops and a tackle for loss. Cornerbacks Kool-Aid McKinstry and Marcus Banks both snagged interceptions, while defensive ends Byron Young and Phidarian Mathis along with defensive tackle DJ Dale all recorded sacks.

Placekicker Will Reichard had two successful field goals from 30 and 40 yards out, while tacking on six extra points.

Postgame Notes

  • Alabama has won 55 of the last 57 games at its home stadium following the Crimson Tide’s 48-14 win over Mercer on Sept. 11 to open the 2021 home slate. Alabama boasts the best all-time home winning percentage in the FBS with an .834 (278-54-3) mark at Bryant-Denny Stadium since its opening in 1929.
  • Running back Jase McClellan recorded a single-game, career-best three touchdowns in the home opener against Mercer, scoring in different ways each time.
    • In the first quarter, the sophomore scored on a 33-yard blocked punt by linebacker Chris Braswell to record the first points in the game.
      • It marked Alabama’s 81st non-offensive touchdown of the Nick Saban era and the first since DeVonta Smith’s 84-yard punt return for a score at Arkansas on Dec. 12, 2020.
      • The last time Alabama returned a blocked punt for a touchdown was Oct. 12, 2019 when Tyrell Shavers scored on a two-yard scoop and score of Ale Kaho’s block against Texas A&M in College Station.
      • With the win over Mercer, Alabama extended its school record for consecutive games with a score to 270 thanks to McClellan’s non-offensive touchdown. Alabama has a 215-55 (.796) record over the course of the current streak.
    • In the second quarter, McClellan rushed five yards into the Mercer end zone, followed by a 21-yard touchdown catch from Bryce Young in the third quarter.
  • Alabama is the current FBS leader for scoring at least 30 points in consecutive games with 28 following the Tide’s 48-14 win over Mercer on Saturday, Sept. 11. The Tide’s 28-game streak is the second-longest in major college football history with only UCF having a longer run of 31 games from 2017-19.
  • Alabama’s captains for Saturday’s home opener against Mercer were Metchie III, linebacker Will Anderson Jr. and Harris.

How It Happened

First Quarter

  • 06:39 – UA | Jase McClellan scored on a 33-yard blocked punt by Chris Braswell for the Crimson Tide’s first score of the season in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  • 03:22 – UA | Brian Robinson Jr. scored his first touchdown of the season, rushing four yards into the end zone to end a five-play, 54-yard drive.

Second Quarter

  • 14:51 – UA | Slade Bolden caught an 18-yard pass from Bryce Young to cap a seven-play, 65-yard drive.
  • 06:30 – UA | For his second touchdown of the game, McClellan rushed five yards into the Mercer end zone to give the Tide a 28-0 lead.
  • 00:33 – UA | Will Reichard continued his streak of made field goals with a 30 yarder to conclude Alabama’s last drive of the half.

 Third Quarter

  • 10:52 – UA | Young connected with Jameson Williams from eight yards out on the Crimson Tide’s first drive of the second half, which lasted five plays covering 81 yards in 2:07 of clock.  
  • 08:21 – MU | The Bears avoided a shutout thanks to Fred Payton’s 60-yard pass to Devron Harper, ending a five-play, 85-yard drive.
  • 05:50 – UA | Scoring his third touchdown of the afternoon, McClellan caught a 21-yard pass from Young, capping a five-play, 64-yard drive.

 Fourth Quarter

  • 12:24 – MU | Ty James caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Payton, ending a 10-play, 80-yard drive.
  • 6:41 – UA | Reichard connected on a 40-yard field goal to give the Tide a 48-14 lead.

Up Next

Alabama will square off against Florida in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 18 for the first time since 2011. The conference opener is schedule for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff on CBS.

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Next Game

9/18/2021

2:30 p.m. CT / Gainesville, Fla.

Football

at Florida

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