Takeaways from Alabama's rout of Southern Miss: Jameson Williams has jet speed

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

In a day of college football upsets and near upsets, No. 1 Alabama made sure its game against Southern Miss didn't get added to the list. 

The Crimson Tide jumped on the Golden Eagles immediately on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium and seldom let up. Alabama improved to 4-0 with the victory over the Golden Eagles. 

Here are our observations and takeaways:

Jameson 'the Jet' Williams can go

Before the Golden Eagles could even blink, a Crimson No. 1 jersey rocketed past them. 

Jameson Williams put his speed on display and returned the first kick of the game 100 yards to give Alabama and immediate lead. He also managed to shed an arm tackle during his long run. 

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Then Williams struck again in the second quarter when he got behind the Southern Miss coverage and caught a pass for an 81-yard score off play action. 

And if that wasn't enough for Williams to prove he's fast, Williams returned a fourth-quarter kickoff 83 yards for another touchdown. His 59 yards per return is an Alabama record. 

Three touchdowns, three speedy showings from the Ohio State transfer. 

Bryce Young continues to impress

Young added more good tape to his 2021 reel against Southern Miss. 

Before he had his first interception of the season in the third quarter against the Golden Eagles, Young was 20-21 with 313 yards and five touchdowns. And the interception was more on Jameson Williams than Young; Williams bobbled the pass and a Southern Miss defensive back snatched the ball out of the air. 

Run defense improves

Yes, it's against Southern Miss and not Florida, but the run defense proved fairly stout nonetheless. 

The Golden Eagles had to play catch-up almost immediately, but when Southern Miss did run, Alabama handled it well. In the first half, the Crimson Tide allowed only eight yards on 14 attempts. For reference, the Gators averaged nearly six yards per rush as Alabama struggled to stop anything on the ground in Gainesville. 

The Golden Eagles picked up a few solid runs in the second half, but Alabama didn't let the ground game consistently gash it like the previous week. 

Alabama will want to try to replicate the Southern Miss performance against Ole Miss next week. 

Alabama finally has 100-yard rusher

No Crimson Tide players had rushed for 100 yards yet this season entering Saturday, but that streak came to an end thanks to Roydell Williams. 

He, along with Jase McClellan, filled in nicely with starter Brian Robinson not playing. Coach Nick Saban said Robinson was day-to-day with an injury heading into the game. Robinson dressed, but he didn't see the field. 

Williams, who began the season listed at the bottom of the running back depth chart, became the first back to 100 yards. And he didn't need more than the first half to do it against Southern Miss. 

He turned in a 55-yard-run that boosted him to 102 yards by halftime. He also scored one of the Crimson Tide's six touchdowns in the first half. 

Defense susceptible to tight end pass

Although the Golden Eagles didn't have much success off any offensive plays in the first half, passing to tight end Grayson Gunter proved successful more than once for the Golden Eagles. 

For a while, he had most of Southern Miss' yardage. He averaged about 20 yards per reception in the first half, with three reception for 61 yards. 

It wasn't of great consequence against Southern Miss, but Alabama will want to ensure it doesn't allow the same mistakes when covering SEC tight ends moving forward. 

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