GAMEDAY College Football

Alabama 48, Mercer 14

(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Nick Saban thinks it might be time for a reckoning like his father used to deliver with a pounding of his hand on the dinner table.

Sure, Bryce Young threw three touchdown passes and Jase McClellan scored three times to help fuel No. 1 Alabama to a 48-14 rout of FCS Mercer.

But it was still a performance that left plenty for the Crimson Tide coach to scowl about and harp on, just as Nick Sr. did at times with his various tasks and chores. Better to learn the lessons from two lopsided wins.

"If you didn't do any of those things right, you were going to do it again," Saban said. "We might need a little of that somewhere along the line."

The Tide (2-0) started sluggishly on offense in what amounted to a warmup game before the Southeastern Conference opener at No. 13 Florida, but potentially more notably had star linebacker Will Anderson Jr. leave with a right knee injury.

Saban said Anderson was questionable against the Gators.

Asked to evaluate his offense's first few possessions, Saban said "we stopped ourselves" on four first-half possessions with penalties and dropped passes.

"Well, what'd you think? I mean, it's kind of a loaded question, isn't it?" the coach responded to a reporter. "I mean, if it stinks it stinks. It smells bad for everybody. Smell bad for you? Yeah. What do you want me to do, make excuses for them?"

Special teams struck before Young and the offense. Chris Braswell blocked a punt, which McClellan scooped up for a 33-yard touchdown, and the expected rout was on against the Bears (1-1). It just took eight minutes and change.

"We all went up there with the mentality to block it," McCellan said. "Once that happened it was just scoop and score at that point."

A sophomore backup tailback, McClellan had two touchdowns in his first 14 games, but added a 21-yard catch and run and a 5-yard, fourth-down scoring run.

Young completed 19 of 27 passes for 227 yards after coming out slow in just his second game as `Bama's starter. Freshman JoJo Earle had seven catches for 85 yards and also had a 29-yard punt return.

Mercer quarterback Fred Payton did burn Alabama for two big plays to wide-open receivers in the second half, a 60-yard touchdown to Devron Harper and a 22-yarder to Ty James in the third quarter.

"It's an honor to be here," Mercer coach Drew Cronic said. "You go into a game like this, and you just want to find small victories and find ways to improve. I think we're going to find that. Obviously, when you're playing against a team like that, everything is magnified, every mistake you make is magnified."

Anderson, a preseason All-American, headed to the locker room after coming up limping after a cut block to the right leg in the third quarter. The defense was already without fellow outside linebacker Chris Allen, expected to miss the rest of the season with a foot injury sustained in the opener.

"When it comes to injuries, it's just next man up," linebacker Christian Harris said.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter MercAla
Ala TD 6:39 Jase McClellan 33 yd blocked punt return (Will Reichard kick) 0 7
Ala TD 3:22 Brian Robinson Jr. 4 yd run (Will Reichard kick) 0 14
Second Quarter MercAla
Ala TD 14:51 Slade Bolden 18 yd pass from Bryce Young (Will Reichard kick) 0 21
Ala TD 6:30 Jase McClellan 5 yd run (Will Reichard kick) 0 28
Ala FG 0:33 Will Reichard 30 yd FG 0 31
Third Quarter MercAla
Ala TD 10:52 Jameson Williams 8 yd pass from Bryce Young (Will Reichard kick) 0 38
Merc TD 8:21 Devron Harper 60 yd pass from Fred Payton (Devin Folser kick) 7 38
Ala TD 5:50 Jase McClellan 21 yd pass from Bryce Young (Will Reichard kick) 7 45
Fourth Quarter MercAla
Merc TD 12:24 Ty James 22 yd pass from Fred Payton (Devin Folser kick) 14 45
Ala FG 6:41 Will Reichard 40 yd FG 14 48
Team Stats
  Mercer Alabama
First downs 13 24
  Rushing 3 9
  Passing 7 13
  Penalty 3 2
3rd Down Efficiency 3-12, 25% 5-13, 38%
4th down efficiency 1-1, 100% 2-2, 100%
Rushes-Yards 36-48 34-158
Passing Yards 168 266
Return Yards 67 149
Completions-Attempts-Int 10-18-2 20-31-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 3-0 2-0
Punts 8 3
Punts-Average 31.5 43.3
Fumbles Lost 2-0 1-0
Penalties - Yards 7-54 9-95
Time of Possession 30:09 29:51
Mercer Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
F. Payton 9 15 159 2 1
C. Peevy 1 3 9 0 1
Alabama Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
B. Young 19 27 227 3 0
P. Tyson 1 3 39 0 0
J. Milroe 0 1 0 0 0
Mercer Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
F. Davis 12 47 3.9 0
E. Dirrim 7 24 3.4 0
F. Payton 5 10 2.0 0
P. Wroble 1 3 3.0 0
C. Peevy 4 -7 -1.8 0
B. Marshall 6 -9 -1.5 0
Alabama Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
B. Robinson Jr. 10 70 7.0 1
J. Milroe 7 33 4.7 0
T. Sanders 7 30 4.3 0
J. McClellan 4 13 3.3 1
R. Williams 4 11 2.8 0
B. Young 2 1 0.5 0
Mercer Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. Harper 2 69 34.5 1
E. Dirrim 2 45 22.5 0
T. James 2 33 16.5 1
P. Wroble 2 11 5.5 0
A. May 1 7 7.0 0
F. Davis 1 3 3.0 0
Alabama Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Earle 7 85 12.1 0
J. Metchie III 5 70 14.0 0
J. Williams 3 31 10.3 1
T. Holden 2 31 15.5 0
J. McClellan 1 21 21.0 1
S. Bolden 1 18 18.0 1
B. Robinson Jr. 1 10 10.0 0
Mercer Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Alabama Interceptions
Player Int Yards
K. McKinstry 1 0
M. Banks 1 0
Mercer Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
T. Turk 7 252 36.0
Alabama Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
J. Burnip 3 130 43.3
Mercer Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Y. McKee 1 2 2.0
Alabama Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Earle 1 45 45.0
S. Bolden 1 29 29.0
C. Braswell 1 11 11.0
J. McClellan 0 33
Mercer Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Y. McKee 3 39 13.0
D. Harper 2 26 13.0
Alabama Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
C. Latu 2 7 3.5
S. Bolden 1 24 24.0
Mercer Missed FG
Player Length
Alabama Missed FG
Player Length




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