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Alabama is playing a Mercer team that showed no mercy in Game 1


Alabama, beware.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide will look across the field this Saturday, and they will see an undefeated squad that not only has not been scored upon, but is averaging 69 points per game! This colossal collection of talent almost redefined the way the game is played in its opening game, running its opponent right off the field and sending it back to the locker room with a humiliating loss.

Mercer flexed its muscles like nobody’s business in Week 1, putting on a performance that made observers feel like the two teams did not even belong on the same field.

The score was a crisp 42-0 by halftime. Four more touchdowns followed in the second half. With the score sitting at 69-0, backup kicker Caleb Dowden missed his only PAT attempt that kept the Bears from a 70-spot. No word on whether the first-string kicker was simply tired from the previous nine extra points or whether the team was trying to develop depth at the position.

BENDER: Week 1 takeways, from Bryce Young’s stellar performance to Steve Sarkisian’s strong debut

You want the total yardage numbers? How does 778 yards grab you? Mercer never punted and managed to overcome three turnovers. So 13 drives resulted in 10 TDs, two fumbles, one INT. There is technically room for improvement.

Defensively, the ‘85 Bears were admiring the ‘21 Bears. Mercer allowed 1.9 yards on 52 plays, for a grand total of 99. It picked off a pass, forced 11 punts and did not allow the opposition to advance past the Mercer 46-yard line. It was an overwhelming show of force by a defense that simply swallowed up runners, passers and receivers for four quarters.

The recipients of this beatdown were the Point Skyhawks. Point University is a small Christian school located in West Point, Ga., that competes in the Appalachian Athletic Conference of NAIA. The Skyhawks have won 12 games in their four-plus seasons of fielding a football team.

Clearly, the powerful Bears had no business matching up against a team that had such a talent deficit. Is there anything to be gained by whipping up on a program that clearly doesn’t have the resources and ability to compete on the same level? Wouldn’t Mercer be better off scheduling at least a school that is closer aligned with its athletic goals and priorities? Mighty Mercer once beat Duke in the NCAA Tournament. It has no business dipping down to NAIA in football, basketball or any other sport..

Hopefully, we will soon see the end of these mismatches, where one team performs like an NFL team and the other is made to look like a high school team. These types of blowouts aren’t in the best interest of either program. Let’s hope Mercer and Point can get back to their proper level of competition in Week 2.

 




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