Alabama is installed as an 18 point favorite which is amazing when you consider that 8 of the top 38 players in last year’s NFL draft came from Alabama. But then again, the Tide is in the midst of maybe the greatest dynasty in College Football history. So let’s take a look at this matchup.
Bryce Young will take over for last year’s starter Mac Jones, and as always, the Tide’s Quarterback comes in as a highly touted high school Quarterback.
Alabama has to replace wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith and offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and running back Najee Harris — all first-round picks. Center Landon Dickerson (second-round pick) and guard Deonte Brown (sixth-rounder) also bolted for the NFL. , So now if any team can pull this off, it would be the Crimson Tide.
The starting running back should be Brian Robinson Jr., who ran for 483 yards and a 5.3 average; the top receiving threat would be John Metchie III. The Tide could also have a perilous Tight End threat in Jahleel Billingsley. In all reality, the Tide should experience a dramatic drop-off on the offensive side of the ball, but they will still be a solid unit.
With the expected drop-off on the offensive end, it may lead you to wonder why the Tide is still entering the season ranked number one? That’s an easy answer; the defense may be the Tides best in some time. There are seven starters back on defense, led by linebackers Will Anderson Jr. and Christian Harris and cornerback Josh Jobe, who is from Miami. So expect a fast, aggressive unit when Bama is on the defensive side of the ball.
Miami’s offense returns every starter except for tight end Brevin Jordan who is now in the NFL. Will Mallory will replace Jordan as the Canes tight end, and I don’t really expect a huge drop-off for Miami there.
Dual-threat quarterback D’Eriq King is returning from a torn ACL in the Canes bowl game, but he looks to be ready to go for this game. King will have some big-time receivers to throw to in Mike Harley (57 catches, 799 yards, and 7 TDs last year) and Charleston Rambo, an Oklahoma transfer.
Maybe the biggest thing about Miami is they return a veteran offensive line, and if they can hold up against Bama, they could have a real chance of winning this game.
The problem appears to be on the defensive side of the ball as they lost their top two pass rushers from last year, and I don’t see them have the players on the roster to make up for that loss. However, they do have some outstanding defenders. Safety Bubba Bolden, cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, a Georgia transfer, defensive tackle Nesta Silvera, Deandre Johnson, Jahfari Harvey, and Zach McCloud.
Alabama’s defense will force King to run, and he will need to be able to scramble and throw and sometimes run to put points on the board. On offense, Alabama will score many points; I say that because even last year, with better talent on defense, the Canes had a hard time stopping anybody. I look for a fairly close first half, and then the Tide rolls in the second half. I like the Tide and will give the points. Alabama 48 Miami 24
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