Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA;  Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr. (4) runs around Florida defenders for a touchdown at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Alabama defeated Florida 31-29. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama leading rusher Brian Robinson Jr. dealing with rib injury

Alabama leading rusher Brian Robinson Jr. is day-to-day heading into Saturday’s game against Southern Mississippi due to injured ribs.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban revealed Wednesday that Robinson was injured during last Saturday’s 31-29 victory at Florida.

“B-Rob played really well in the game,” Saban said of the back who had 78 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries, and also caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.

Robinson has a team-best 208 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He also has four receptions for 17 yards.

Trey Sanders, who rushed for 71 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries over the first two games, didn’t play against Florida.

However, Saban didn’t initially provide a reason why Sanders didn’t see action.

“There’s nothing wrong with Trey Sanders, so I don’t really understand the question,” Saban said.

Saban later touched on Sanders in a general response to the running back situation.

“When it comes to running backs, whoever’s playing well and has the hot hand, that’s who we’re gonna play,” Saban said. “That’s how it’s always been around here. We’ve had some really good backs in the past that didn’t play in games that were third guys because the other two guys were rolling and playing good.

“So there was no plan to play him or not to play him. It’s just the way the game worked out.”

Another option against Southern Miss is Jase McClellan, who has rushed for 66 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries.

–Field Level Media

Florida Gators linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. (1) rises up to try for an interception but dropped it during the football game between the Florida Gators and The Alabama Crimson Tide, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Sept. 18, 2021.

Flgai 09182021 Ufvs Bama 29

No. 1 Alabama ‘can’t let up’ vs. Southern Miss

Alabama got tested last Saturday against Florida on the road, emerging with a 31-29 win after the Gators came up just short on a two-point conversion attempt late in the game.

The win allowed the Crimson Tide (3-0, 1-0 SEC) to maintain their No. 1 ranking, with Southern Mississippi of Conference USA coming into Tuscaloosa on Saturday night.

The Tide have a seven-game winning streak against the Golden Eagles and have won 13 of the last 14 meetings. Southern Miss (1-2) has never played Alabama in the state of Mississippi, and the Golden Eagles defeated the Tide 21-0 in September of 2000 in Birmingham, Ala., for the most recent Southern Mississippi victory in the series.

Alabama has won the last two meetings (2019 and 2014) by a combined score of 101-19.

There were some lessons to be learned from the Florida win, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said.

“You can’t let up in a game. You’ve got to be able to sustain and play Alabama football for 60 minutes in a game. You can’t relinquish big leads,” Saban said. “So, there’s a lot of things that our players can learn in terms of what we can do to be better from an execution standpoint, and how we can sustain our intensity for 60 minutes in a game.”

Saban said the Golden Eagles have a tough defense that has played the run well, and will present a challenge despite Alabama being a perceived overwhelming favorite.

Alabama has scored 30 or more points in 30 straight games, which is the longest current streak of its kind in the FBS. One more 30-point game and the Tide will tie UCF, which had 31 from 2017-2019, for the all-time record.

Saban is 264-65-1 all-time as a head coach, including a 173-23 mark at Alabama. An early touchdown bodes well for the Crimson Tide, as they have won 43 straight games when scoring a touchdown on the first offensive possession of the game, as they did against Florida.

Southern Mississippi has losses to South Alabama and Troy, by a combined score of 52-16. Its win was over Grambling State, 37-0.

The Golden Eagles rushed for minus-1 yards against Troy at home last weekend, with 156 yards of total offense. Defensively, the Southern Miss defense has limited each of its first three opponents this season to fewer than 100 yards rushing.

Opponents are averaging only 17.3 points and 248 yards of total offense per game against the Golden Eagles, but Alabama is, of course, on another level in terms of caliber of opponent.

Quarterback Trey Lowe will miss Saturday’s game with a foot injury, according to a statement he released on Twitter. The transfer from West Virginia said he was focusing on “healing, rehab, and getting back to the game I love,” and pledged to help his team any way he can.

Lowe started the first two games of this season before injuring his foot against Grambling. He was replaced by freshman Ty Keyes, who started against Troy and is expected to start against Alabama.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban talks to the referee against the Florida Gators during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama, Georgia remain atop AP poll; UCLA plummets

Alabama and Georgia remained No. 1 and 2 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, leading a group of seven ranked teams from the Southeastern Conference.

The Big Ten placed three teams in the Top 10, with Ohio State – off an unimpressive win over Tulsa — falling to No. 10 behind No. 5 Iowa and No. 6 Penn State.

Rounding out the Top 10 were No. 3 Oregon and No. 4 Oklahoma, who flipped places, along with No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 8 Cincinnati and No. 9 Clemson.

The Tigers fell three spots from No. 9; Penn State replaced Clemson at No. 6 after a 28-20 win over Auburn.

Except for Ohio State and Clemson, both of which are 2-1, all teams in the Top 10 are 3-0.

Taking the biggest tumble of the week was UCLA, which fell from No. 13 to 24. A feel-good story after years of mediocrity, the Bruins entered the week at 2-0 but lost to Fresno State 40-37.

With the win, the Bulldogs (3-1) entered the poll at No. 22.

Florida (2-1) stayed at No. 11 after a tough 31-29 loss to Alabama on Saturday, the highest ranked of the second tier of SEC schools – No. 13 Ole Miss (3-0), No. 16 Arkansas (3-0) and No. 23 Auburn (2-1).

The non-Power 5 conferences retained their strong presence in the poll, with No. 15 BYU rising eight spots, above No. 17 Coastal Carolina. Both teams are undefeated after three weeks of the season.

Undefeated Michigan State, with a 38-17 victory Saturday over Miami (FL), entered the poll at No. 20, immediately following its Big Ten mates Wisconsin (1-1) and Michigan (3-0).

Falling out of the Top 25 were Miami and Arizona State after losses. Kansas State (3-0) entered at No. 25.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A detailed view of a Georgia Bulldogs helmet during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Top 2023 QB Arch Manning lines up college visits; Georgia next

The dance card is filling up for five-star quarterback prospect Arch Manning.

The latest in the line of Manning quarterbacks, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2023 will be at Georgia on Saturday to watch the Bulldogs take on South Carolina in a Southeastern Conference showdown, 247Sports reported Thursday.

After that, per the report, Manning will be in Tuscaloosa when Alabama hosts Ole Miss on Oct. 2. He visited Alabama in the summer.

Manning also was in Texas during the summer, and he’ll return to Austin to watch the Longhorns play Oklahoma State on Oct. 16 in a Big 12 contest. Clemson, another summer stop, is on the agenda for the Oct. 30 game vs. Florida State, per 247Sports.

He has plans for Oct. 23, too. He’ll be at Ole Miss, the alma mater of grandfather Archie, dad Cooper and his Uncle Eli.

Ole Miss will retire Eli Manning’s number that day when the Rebels play LSU. The younger Manning seems to have some interest in the family lineage school.

“Oxford is amazing,” Manning told 247Sports. “Coach (Jeff) Lebby and Coach (Lane) Kiffin are some of the smartest offensive minds I’ve ever met. I met with Coach Kiffin it seems like four hours and he blew me away with his knowledge and they’re going to put up some points this year and I’m excited to watch them.”

The 6-foot-4 Manning said he doesn’t expect to make a decision until spring or summer, well after his third season as the starter at Isidore Newman in New Orleans is over. Other schools, including LSU, Stanford and Tulane, also could get looks.

He led Isidore Newman to an 18-3 record over his first two seasons.

“It’s so hard to know or tell, I’m just taking it one day at a time,” he said of his choice. “I want to like the culture because coaches and assistant coaches move and go everywhere. I want good guys around me and good coaches and a good town and a good education.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) during warm ups at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

SEC showdown in Swamp: No. 1 Alabama, No. 11 Florida collide

There are many places where QB2 is more popular than QB1. At the moment, one such locale is Gainesville, Fla.

Florida fans are clamoring for coach Dan Mullen to ditch the training wheels and turn to talented redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Richardson as the starter Saturday when No. 1 Alabama arrives at The Swamp.

The coach of the 11th-ranked Gators made it clear he isn’t checking the suggestion box at this time.

“I’ll be honest with you, I don’t listen to too many suggestions,” Mullen said. “If you’re in our staff meeting, I’m going to listen to your suggestion. But I don’t run down to Shands Hospital and say, ‘Boy, I really think you should do that procedure this way.’

“I think those guys probably got that under control, you know? So they’re the people, the experts who are doing it.”

Translation: Mullen plans to stay the course, starting Emory Jones for the third straight game over Richardson. Even though Jones tossed two interceptions in Florida’s wins over Florida Atlantic and South Florida, he is still the man for the Gators.

Mullen is 0-10 in his career against Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, including a wild 52-46 setback last December in the Southeastern Conference championship game.

Chief among the reasons Mullen isn’t making a shift: Jones’ superior grasp of the offense. Mullen specifically cited a play Richardson made against Florida Atlantic as a reason why Jones continues to get most of the snaps.

“He drops back, misses a protection check, then misses the ‘hot’ throw, then misses the primary read and then scrambles around and runs someone over,” Mullen said. “And everyone thinks, ‘What a spectacular play!’”

Richardson has made enough spectacular plays, particularly on the ground, to lead the SEC in rushing with 275 yards – on just 11 carries. He is just 6 of 11 in the air as compared to Jones’ 31 of 49, and is battling a nagging hamstring injury to boot.

At Alabama, there are no such quarterback concerns.

Freshman quarterback Bryce Young hit 19 of 27 passes for 227 yards and three scores last week in a 48-14 rout of FCS opponent Mercer. He has emerged as the betting favorite for the Heisman Trophy.

Young already is the first quarterback in program history – a history that only includes the likes of Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Tua Tagovailoa, etc. – to toss seven touchdown passes in his first two starts.

Not that everything ran smoothly Saturday, in Saban’s view. The offense ended its first two drives with punts and the secondary was beaten for a pair of touchdown passes in the second half, although it was 35-0 by the time Mercer found the end zone.

“We probably didn’t play to the standard that we like to play to,” Saban said. “I think it is probably attributed to how you prepare, how you practice, the things that you do because that’s when you create habits. Practice fast, play fast and that’s when good things happen.”

Alabama leads the all-time series 27-14, winning the last seven matchups. This will be the Crimson Tide’s first trip to Gainesville since Oct. 1, 2011.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker King Mwikuta (30) reacts after a play against the Mercer Bears at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 Alabama easily handles Mercer, 48-14

Alabama players drew their coach’s ire early in the week because of what he perceived as a lack of focus.

Seems that his message was received, although it took a few possessions and a big play from the special teams before the Crimson Tide found their footing against Mercer on Saturday.

The No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide came out and methodically dominated the Bears on the way to a 48-14 victory in Tuscaloosa in a tuneup for a showdown against 13th-ranked Florida next week.

Chris Braswell’s blocked punt in the first quarter and Jase McLellan’s 33-yard scoop-and-score got Alabama (2-0) revved up after a pedestrian start.

Once the Tide jumped in front, the offense got comfortable and produced points on eight of the next nine possessions — two first-quarter touchdowns and 17 points in the second quarter on the way to a 31-0 halftime cushion.

Meanwhile, the Alabama defense was suffocating. Mercer (1-1) managed only 35 yards in the first 30 minutes and none of the Bears’ eight possessions lasted more than four plays.

Mercer finished with 216 total yards, with four pass plays accounting for 127 of that total.

The futility let up briefly in the third quarter when Fred Payton dropped a 60-yard pass into Devron Harper’s hands to end the shutout bid.

By then, the work day was over for most of Alabama’s starters. Bryce Young was efficient throwing the ball, hitting 19-of-27 passes for 227 yards — 175 in the third quarter — and three touchdowns. Jojo Earle paced a busy and diverse day for the receiving corps with seven catches for 85 yards and added a pair of return yards that covered 45 yards.

Chunk plays helped the Tide: Nine pass plays covered 16 yards or more and added up to 218 yards of their 424 total.

Bears quarterback Fred Payton passed for 159 yards and two scores. Harper’s two catches for 69 yards led the way and Fred Davis ran for 47 yards.

Mercer continued to find success after halftime and churned out 181 yards. But the Alabama lead was too big by then.

–Field Level Media

Linebacker Christopher Allen (4) works on rushing skills as Crimson Tide players work on drills in practice Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Alabama Practice

Alabama LB Christopher Allen (foot) likely out for season

Alabama outside linebacker Christopher Allen needs surgery for a fractured foot and could be out for the season, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban announced Monday.

The redshirt senior sustained the injury during Saturday’s season-opening 44-13 win against Miami.

He was taken to the locker room after strip-sacking Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King early in the second quarter and returned to the sideline with a walking boot on his right foot.

Allen registered six sacks and led the SEC with 13 tackles for loss in 2020, earning second-team All-SEC honors.

Sophomore Drew Sanders, a five-star recruit in the Class of 2020, replaced Allen on Saturday and will take over in the starting lineup.

No. 1 Alabama (1-0) hosts FCS opponent Mercer (1-0) on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

–Field Level Media

Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Christopher Allen (4) against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama LB Christopher Allen suffers ‘significant’ foot injury

Alabama linebacker Christopher Allen suffered a serious foot injury that could force him to miss the rest of the season, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said Saturday.

The injury occurred early in the second quarter with 13:49 left before halftime. Allen sacked Miami quarterback D’Eriq King for a loss of three yards. Allen also forced a fumble on the play, which he recovered.

However, Allen appeared to suffer a foot injury on the play. He was attended to by trainers and had to be carted off the field to the locker room for further evaluation. Allen did not return to the game.

“Chris Allen’s got a pretty significant foot injury, and they’ll further evaluate,” Saban told reporters after the game. “But it looks like he may be lost for the season.”

Allen led the Southeastern Conference in tackles for loss (13) and totaled six sacks in 2020. He finished No. 1 Alabama’s 44-13 rout of Miami with three combined tackles, one tackle for loss, a sack and forced fumble.

–Field Level Media

Apr 17, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; White quarterback Bryce Young (9) scrambles for a first down after moving away from Crimson linebacker Christopher Allen (4) during the Alabama A-Day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

No surprise: Alabama names Bryce Young its starting QB

Preseason No. 1 Alabama will have Bryce Young at quarterback in the season opener against No. 14 Miami, coach Nick Saban announced Monday in perhaps college football’s most unsurprising news of the upcoming season.

Young had been the presumed heir apparent to Mac Jones, a first-round draft pick by the New England Patriots in April, since Jones announced he was entering the draft shortly after the Crimson Tide won the College Football Playoff in January.

“Bryce has done a nice job,” Saban said Monday in making the announcement. “He’s confident and accurate with the ball.”

Last season, Young appeared in nine games as a freshman. The 6-foot, 194-pound QB from Southern California completed 13 of 22 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.

Young was the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 2 overall player in the Class of 2020, according to the 247Sports composite. He played his high school football at powerhouse Mater Dei.

Marketers already had taken note of Young well in advance of Saban’s announcement. Under new regulations that allow players to cash in on their name, image and likeness, Young already had deals worth nearly $1 million as of late July.

The Crimson Tide and Hurricanes are set to play Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

–Field Level Media

Linebacker Quandarrius Robinson (34) Crimson Tide players work on drills in practice Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Alabama Practice

Alabama LB Quandarrius Robinson arrested for DUI

Alabama sophomore linebacker Quandarrius Robinson was charged with driving under the influence following an accident late Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, according to police.

No one was injured in the three-car wreck.

After an investigation, Robinson was charged with DUI and taken to Tuscaloosa County Jail. His bond was set at $1,000 and he was eligible to be released after 12 hours or after passing a sobriety test, according to a Tuscaloosa Police Department spokesperson.

Robinson, 20, did not see any playing time during his freshman season with the Crimson Tide in 2020.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Birmingham, Ala., native was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2020. He was ranked No. 65 overall nationally and No. 6 among outside linebackers by the 247 Sports Composite.

No. 1 Alabama, the defending national champions, open the 2021 season at home Saturday against No. 14 Miami.

–Field Level Media