While some other College Football Playoff contenders sputtered over the weekend, Alabama looked like a well-oiled machine. The Crimson Tide hammered Miami, 41-13, and they look head and shoulders above every other program right now.

On the ‘College Football Live’ podcast, ESPN’s Paul Finebaum explained just how impressed he was by Alabama. First, redshirt freshman quarterback Bryce Young looked phenomenal in his first career start. The young signal caller wasn’t fazed by the moment, and Alabama has to be very encouraged by what they saw out of him.

“Alabama has confidence now,” Finebaum said. “Bryce Young started his first game. You can’t lose sight of that. Now we know why there were people, as crazy as this sounds, who were saying a year and a couple months ago, ‘Hey, this guy could give Mac Jones a run for his money for the starting job.’ Nick Saban and Steve Sarkisian wisely chose the right person, but you could see why there was at least a pause for a moment. It’s almost too much for him. Now, he’s the frontrunner for the Heisman after one start. I feel sorry for the guy. He’s a multi-millionaire. It doesn’t seem like anything really bothered him in Atlanta, did it?”

The Crimson Tide won by 28 points, but Finebaum still thinks the scoreboard was misleading. Alabama was all over Miami from start to finish, but the Hurricanes were able to put up some points late. When looking at the rest of Alabama’s 2021 schedule, Finebaum was hard-pressed to find any team that could knock the Crimson Tide off their pedestal.

“The score does not do it justice,” Finebaum said. “It was a 41-3 game. … There were garbage points, and it was really a 38-point game. It wasn’t a 28-point game. I do think Alabama has a tough first half (of the season). They had three tough tasks. One is down. The Swamp is in less than two weeks, and then Texas A&M. I’m not convinced, though, that anyone is going to challenge them.”

After the game, Alabama head coach Nick Saban had many good things to say about Young, as one might expect. Saban liked the way Young handled himself without trying to do too much.

“I think Bryce did really, really well,” Saban said. “You know, he’s smart. Most people just look at the stats and say he was whatever he was, for whatever he was for this many yards. But, you know, he redirects the protection, he plays like a veteran out there. And, you know, we had the one, you know, sack fumble which was something that we don’t really want to have. But, really, not all his fault that he doesn’t get protected.

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“But I was really impressed with the way he played in the game, the poise that he played with, the command that he had. He kind of took what the defense gave. And really directed the offense in a really positive way. And when we had opportunities to make plays on third down and a couple other explosive plays, he certainly did a great job in getting the ball to the right guy in the right time in the right place. So I was really pleased.”

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