On a beautiful 70 degrees day in Tuscaloosa, more than 47,000 Alabama fans were able to catch a glimpse of what the 2021 version of the Crimson Tide would look like. For the majority of the day, the defense reigned supreme, which is unusual to hear based on the past few years, but if you followed through the spring season it was unsurprising.
One of the areas Saban noted would be a work in progress was the offensive line which is going through major turnover since last season. With losing the likes of Alex Leatherwood, Deonte Brown, Landon Dickerson and with Emil Ekiyor sitting out for the day, a lot of new faces had an opportunity to play.
The first group consisting of Evan Neal, Tommy Brown, Chris Owens, Damieon George and Kendall Randolph performed admirably in the passing game but struggled to move the defensive front in the run game. Much of the same came for the second-team offensive line which struggled in both the pass and run game.
Despite the mixing and mashing upfront, both Bryce Young and Paul Tyson were able to display some impressive skills throughout the game. Young was able to avoid the rush on multiple plays to convert first downs and found a wide-open Cameron Latu for a big 59-yard score in the first half of the game.
Like Saban said during his press conference on Thursday, Young only worked with the first-team offense and showed confidence and poise in the face of the first-teamThe def defense.
Tyson who was pressured nearly every play on offense still found a way to deliver the ball on time when he had a clean look. He was aided by wide receiver Agiye Hall who made a number of contested grabs on the sidelines for the crimson team.
The white team also had some big grabs from its receiving corps from Slade Bolden as well as Traeshon Holden who led the team with seven catches on the day.
Defensively, the Crimson Tide saw numerous big hits in the secondary from safety DeMarcco Hellams who is looking to carve out an even bigger role this season. It also saw the likes of linebackers Demouy Kennedy and Deonte Lawson step up for their respective teams and make some plays on the day.
But what will likely be viewed as the low point in the scrimmage unfortunately will be the kicking game for Alabama. Kicker Will Reichard struggled as he missed three field goals but bounced back at the end of the game to kick the game-winning score for the white team.
Team white’s offensive leaders:
Bryce Young: 24/44, 333 passing yards, 1 touchdown
Traeshon Holden: 9 catches 89 yards
Slade Bolden: 5 catches 56 yards
Roydell Williams: 12 carries 46 yards, 4 catches 65 yards
Team white’s defensive leaders:
Demouy Kennedy: seven tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack
Jah-Marien Latham: four tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss two quarterback hits
Ga-Quincy McKinstry: three tackles, one pass breakup one interception
Team crimson offensive leaders:
Paul Tyson: 18/34 171 yards
Jase McClellan: 12 carries 46 yards, seven catches 62 yards
Agiye Hall: 4 catches 72 yards
Team crimson defensive leaders:
DeMarcco Hellams: 12 tackles, one pass breakup one forced fumble
Chris Braswell: five tackles, three sacks three tackles for loss
Deonte Lawson: four tackles, one tackle for loss two pass breakups
Jayln Armour-Davis: three tackles three pass breakups
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77