Alabama Football News

Bryce Young sets records in impressive starting debut for Alabama vs. Miami

Bryce Young attempts a throw in the pocket for Alabama versus Hurricanes
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics/ SEC Media Portal

All eyes were on Bryce Young last week, and he delivered the goods.

The sophomore earned the starting quarterback job because of his performance in spring, summer, and preseason camp. Everyone in the football program has raved about him, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium witnessed it first-hand.

Young, a native of Pasadena, Calif., put the college football world on notice with an incredible game. He impressed Crimson Tide fans, head coach Nick Saban, and the ABC commentary team. Young completed 27 of 38 passes (71 percent) for 344 yards with four touchdowns and no turnovers. He was sensational against the blitz, tossing three scoring passes with pressure in his face.

Regardless of his classification, the former five-star played like a veteran. He orchestrated the offense to 44 points and 501 total yards on 77 plays. Fifteen of his 27 completions (55.6%) resulted in first downs or touchdowns. Young delivered passes quickly to receivers, and he also set some records. The 6-foot, 194-pounder tied for the most touchdown passes in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game history. His 94-yard scoring strike to Jameson Williams tied for the second-longest touchdown pass in Alabama football history.  

In terms of success in a single game, Young’s four touchdowns rank with Mac Jones, John Parker Wilson, AJ McCarron, Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts, Blake Sims, and Mike Shula who all had one game where they tossed at least four scores. 

His 344 passing yards and four scores set an Alabama record for a quarterback in his first career start.

The lone area of improvement for Young in a 44-13 victory over Miami is trusting his athleticism more.

He had opportunities to create more first downs with his legs; however, he was hesitant. This comes from dual-threat quarterbacks wanting to prove they are more pass-oriented than run-oriented. People respect the sophomore’s mindset to be an effective passer, but fans also want to see him create with his legs too. He will master this area as he continues to grow.

Overall, Saban was pleased with Young. 

“I thought Bryce played really well for his first start,” Saban said. 

“He’s smart. Most people just look at stats and say he whatever he was for whatever he was for this many yards, but he redirects the protection and plays like a veteran. I was really impressed with the poise he played with and the command that he had. He took what the defense gave and directed the offense in a positive way. When we had opportunities to make plays on third down, he certainly did a great job of getting the ball to the right guy, at the right time, and in the right place.” 

Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma), DJ Uiagalelei (Clemson), and J.T. Daniels (Georgia) all were ahead of Young in the Heisman conversation, but him outperforming Miami’s D’Eriq King has opened some eyes. He returns to Bryant-Denny Stadium this week to guide Alabama against Mercer in its home opener. Young starts his college football career in a big way and on a huge stage. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “watch” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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