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No. 1 Alabama Looks Ready for the Iron Bowl in 56-0 Rout of Mercer

© Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Just a week ago, Alabama fans were getting a little nervous for 2017’s edition of the Iron Bowl. With the linebacker injuries, Auburn’s decimation of Georgia, and barely skating by Mississippi State, things were looking shaky, for sure. In what was maybe a good omen, Alabama came out today and shut those fears down.

From a hot-handed Jalen Hurts (7-for-7 for 180 yards and 3 TD’s) staying on a roll, to a punishing running game (265 total yards), Alabama turned in its best all-around offensive preformance of the year. The most welcome improvement, however, came from the other side of the ball.

After a poor preformance by linebacker Keith Holcombe last week, Nick Saban and Jeremy Pruitt chose to go with a true-freshman in Dylan Moses, instead. That paid off well for the top-ranked Tide, as Moses turned in a very impressive outing in his first start. Early in the game, for example, the Bears had a third-and-short in Alabama’s territory, and Moses came whipping around the edge to nail the ball-carrier for a loss of yardage. Holcombe showed a lack of burst and big-play capability last week, so the fiery play of Moses will be surely welcomed with open arms as they prepare for Auburn.

Another important defensive note was the absence of Minkah Fitzpatrick, who took the game off to rest his banged up hamstring. Ronnie Harrison, Hootie Jones, and Deionte Thompson looked excellent in his absence as Jones and Thompson both came away with interceptions on the day. Though they played well, and shutout the 5-6 Bears, fans will want to keep an eye on Ronnie Harrison’s status after he was helped off the field in the third quarter, though he appeared able to walk off mostly unassisted.

With a tough road matchup with No. 6 Auburn next on the slate they appeared to have smoothed out the wrinkles in today’s ‘warm-up’ game. Auburn hate week starts now.


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