Alabama football trounces New Mexico State with ease: Our top observations

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

New Mexico State got a small taste of a lead against No. 2 Alabama football, but before the Aggies could savor it for even a second, the Crimson Tide was scoring touchdown after touchdown. 

Alabama used a strong first half from quarterback Bryce Young and Jameson Williams to all but put the game out of reach while the second quarter was still young. The Crimson Tide went on to defeat New Mexico State 59-3 on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. 

Alabama (9-1, 6-1 SEC) will play its final home game of the season next Saturday against Arkansas. 

Here are observations and takeaways from the Crimson Tide's dominant victory. 

RPO to Jamo

Williams tends to be a good player to whom Alabama football's offense can turn when it needs a spark. 

After a stagnant start on the first drive, the Crimson Tide looked to Williams off a run-pass option on which the New Mexico State defensive back bit. Williams was open for the 50-yard pass that gave Alabama a 7-3 lead in the first quarter. 

Williams wasn't done contributing, though. He caught his ninth touchdown of the season in the second quarter as Alabama took a 28-3 lead. Six of those touchdowns have gone for at least 25 yards. 

He added a third touchdown before the end of the first half, his 10th of the season, with a 9-yard catch. 

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Another blocked punt

After a week in which Alabama's special teams play almost cost it against LSU, the Crimson Tide stepped up in this phase of the game against New Mexico State. 

After Christian Leary blocked a New Mexico State punt, Jaylen Moody picked it up and returned it 20 yards to the 4. Alabama scored afterward off a Brian Robinson Jr. run to extend the lead to 21-3 in the second quarter. 

The Crimson Tide also blocked punts in the Texas A&M and Mercer games. 

Nov 13, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) throws to Alabama tight end Jahleel Billingsley (19) during the game with New Mexico State at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Young opens game on impressive streak

Forget the opponent; the way Young started the game was impressive. 

Young completed his first 13 pass attempts. That helped Alabama jump out to a quick lead while Young kept throwing first-half touchdowns. 

Young only had two incompletions in the first half, going 21-for-23 for 272 yards and five touchdowns. He only played one series in the second half before quarterback Paul Tyson took over at quarterback. Then Jalen Milroe entered at quarterback in the fourth. 

Three of those five scores went to Williams, while one went to Cameron Latu and another to Jahleel Billingsley. 

Nov 13, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) celebrates after the believing his scored a touchdown against New Mexico State at Bryant-Denny Stadium. He was ruled to have stepped out of bounds before crossing the goal line. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Turner continues to create pressure

The threat Will Anderson Jr. poses off the edge is well documented, and he showed it early in the game with his 11th sack of the season. But don't lose track of freshman Dallas Turner. 

Turner is turning into a force opposite of Anderson. Turner continued where he left off the LSU game, in which he had a crucial first-down sack on the last drive and two total sacks. He added another sack to his resume in the first half Saturday against the Aggies. 

If Turner can continue to muster a pass rush opposite of Anderson, opposing offenses are going to have even more trouble because they can't focus all of their attention on just blocking Anderson. 

Nov 13, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner (15) and Alabama defensive back Brian Branch (14) combine to bring down New Mexico State quarterback Jonah Johnson (10) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Robinson Jr. runs for career long

While Young and the passing game lit up New Mexico State early on, Robinson provided reliable running. 

He had nine runs for 99 yards in the first half, 63 of which came on one run. That was by far the longest rush of his Alabama career. Robinson's previous career-long run went for 37 yards in 2019. 

Known for his power, he showed off some speed as he ran down the left sideline to put Alabama up 35-3. 

Alabama calls on a variety of running backs

The Crimson Tide had to get a bit creative at running back behind Robinson in the second half. 

After his primary backup, Roydell Williams, exited the game in the first half, Alabama used a combination of Trey Sanders, Christian Leary and Demouy Kennedy, a linebacker, at the running back spot. 

Running back depth is already thin because Jase McClellan was lost for the season to an injury earlier this year and freshman Camar Wheaton has not been healthy enough to participate. 

Contact Alabama reporter Nick Kelly: nkelly@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly