Mercer Cluster

Mercer faces a heavy loss against Alabama in its last game of the season

Kyle Mullins, Sports Editor

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Going into this game, no one expected Mercer to upset the number one ranked team in the country; Alabama is number one for a reason. However, Mercer fans were disappointed to see their team not put up a single point against the SEC heavyweight.

Alabama made clean work of Mercer in all four quarters, ending the game 56-0 to move on to their next big game, the Iron Bowl against Auburn.

Head Coach Bobby Lamb said that Mercer failed to perform the way it needed to against such a strong team, and the results showed it.

“When you play the number one team in the country and you don’t execute the way you need to execute on offense and defense, you get exposed,” Lamb said. “I thought we started playing a little bit better the second quarter on defense, but there’s a reason Alabama is Alabama.”

There was one play in particular that may have done its job in breaking the Bears’ spirits. It was a 66-yard pass to Calvin Ridley that lead to a touchdown in the first ten seconds of the second quarter that was also Alabama’s third touchdown of the game.

Only two minutes later, Alabama scored its fourth touchdown when Josh Jacobs carried the ball into the end zone. By the end of the first half, the score was 35-0.

Alabama outperformed Mercer in nearly every aspect of the game. For the first half of the game, Alabama’s running backs broke through Mercer’s defensive line as if it were nothing. Mercer tried to adjust halt the yards, but then so did Alabama.

When Mercer started stopping runs, Alabama worked their deep options, and executed both short and deep passes with precision and speed that Mercer’s defense just couldn’t catch up with.

Alabama ended the game with 265 passing yards compared to only 54 from Mercer.

Linebacker Lee Bennett, who finished second in tackles in the game, said Auburn’s team is probably the closest Mercer has come to playing an offense as efficient as Alabama’s.

“We knew going in their offense wasn’t that complicated, it’s just that they can stay consistent throughout the game,” Bennett said. “That’s what separates them throughout every game that they play.”

Lamb said one of the most disappointing aspects of the game to be the three interceptions Alabama players made against Mercer quarterback Kaelan Riley. After the third interception in the third quarter, Riley was taken out and substituted with redshirt junior quarterback, Tanner Brumby.

“You’re getting your brains beat out, Kaelan is struggling a little bit, [Tanner] has gotten a lot of practice reps so we decided to go with him and let him take a shot at it,” Lamb said on the decision to substitute Riley. “We wanted to see if he could make some plays for us.”

Lamb and his players are taking this loss on the chin. He said that they hope to use this game as an opportunity to improve and hopefully grow their program.

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Mercer faces a heavy loss against Alabama in its last game of the season