The Crimson Tide 2010 Season started against a lightweight opponent yesterday and, from the national perspective, the most newsworthy thing about the contest is that it wasn't newsworthy. Alabama effectively handled San Jose State Spartans in a workmanlike 48-3 victory that served to inaugurate the newly-expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The pundits concerned themselves with other games and, when they took a gander at the Tide's outing, it was in the context of next week's contest. As a result, most of the detailed coverage of the contest was regulated to the local media outlets which is where 20/20 Hindsight is, for the most part, hanging out today...
No Mark Ingram. No Marcell Dareus. No sweat. The top-ranked University of Alabama football team opened the 2010 season without its Heisman Trophy winner and without the most valuable player from last season’s national championship game, but neither was needed in a 48-3 victory over outmanned San Jose State.
Alabama rang up 591 yards of total offense and limited San Jose State to 175. Greg McElroy was 13-of-15 for 218 yards and a touchdown, the Tide averaged 6.3 yards on 41 carries and SJSU was 1-of-13 on third-down conversions. Given the way the other top-tier teams in the SEC looked this weekend, is Alabama even more of a favorite today than they were on Friday?
First, the team with the most talent won the game. The Spartans didn’t have many guys who could have even caught up with the pass, let alone touch it — then catch it.
The Alabama Crimson Tide culture -- with 101,821 noisy spectators screaming with Southern accents for their team full of excellent future top NFL draft choices -- can pretty much overwhelm the culture of an overmatched little West Coast team full of future excellent teachers, law enforcement officers and insurance salesmen.
Midway through the third quarter, Richardson sat at the end of the bench next to Ingram, but for all the right reasons. Alabama had emptied its bench. The Tide had the game in a vice grip. The two running backs behind Richardson on the depth chart, Eddie Lacy and Demetrius Goode, were already sharing carries and highlight plays.
"Honestly, I went crazy," right guard Barrett Jones said. "[Julio Jones second-quarter TD catch] was one of the greatest plays I've ever seen. It was like 'Wow. Unbelievable.' You think I'd be used to it, because he does stuff like that in practice all of the time."
In all, the UA coaching staff played 47 players in the first quarter alone, several of whom had no previous game experience, and many took the field before the game was in hand for the Crimson Tide. Saban said the UA staff had planned to play backup quarterback A.J. McCarron in the second quarter regardless of the score.