The Miami football team will play its toughest opener in program history when they open against Alabama on September 4 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Crimson Tide won their sixth national championship in the last 12 years with a 52-24 victory over Ohio State in January at Hard Rock Stadium.
Alabama lost Heisman Trophy winner DaVonta Smith, quarterback Mac Jones and four other first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. Miami returns 19 starters as they open against an SEC opponent for the third time in the last four seasons. The Hurricanes lost 33-17 to LSU in 2018 and 24-20 to Florida to open the 2019 season.
The Tigers went on to win the national championship a season later. Alabama is on an entirely different level. Despite losing the six first-round picks and 10 players total to the 2021 NFL Draft, the Crimson Tide will reload for this season. Quarterback Bryce Young was a five-star signee in 2020.
Wide receiver John Metchie is expected to step up into the vacancy created by the departures of Smith and Jaylen Waddle at WR. Alabama doesn’t rebuild, they reload. Saban has won six National Championships in 14 seasons at Alabama. In their preview of the opening weekend, 247 Sports expects an Alabama romp over Miami.
ALABAMA VS. MIAMI (ATLANTA)
Game prediction: Alabama 52, Miami 17
The word: Nick Saban has never lost one of these season-opening games against top-tier opponents and carries the nation’s longest winning streak into this one in Atlanta. Is the stage too big for the Hurricanes? Alabama is used to playing in the spotlight with all eyes on the Crimson Tide during opening weekend.
If you like Miami to keep this one close, you’ll want to see the Hurricanes’ pass rush limit Alabama’s run game and get quarterback Bryce Young out of his comfort zone early. The nation’s top-ranked team in the preseason looks to impress.
Like every other team that plays Alabama, the task for Manny Diaz and his staff is significant against the Crimson Tide. Miami used to have the advantage in big games. Alabama as stated by Brad Crawford of 247 Sports is used to playing in big games with their current roster. Miami hasn’t proven they can compete in big games.
The Hurricanes were crushed last season in their two biggest games against Clemson and North Carolina. The Miami Football team will have a far more experienced roster than Alabama. The Hurricanes are going to have to try and use that experience to their advantage. Many Alabama players will be making their first starts.