In Alabama's annual home opener cupcake game, the 2021 Crimson Tide will be taking on a somewhat familiar opponent in Mercer. The Tide hosted Mercer a few years back in November of 2017, where Alabama was victorious over the Bears by a score of 56-0.

Will Alabama replicate this shutout effort four years later? Mercer is coming off an absolute beatdown of Point University last week, who they defeated by a score of 69-0. In the matchup, the Bears used three different quarterbacks while 13 different players recorded rushing statistics, and nine different players recorded a reception.

Heading into the 2021 season, the Bears are coming off a relatively disappointing 5-6 2020 season that saw them finish 4th place in the Southern conference due to their solid 5-3 in-conference record. Mercer enters the season with a different starting quarterback than the start of last year in freshman Carter Peevy.

Peevy, listed as a freshman due to eligibility rules due to Covid-19, took the reigns as starter midway through the 2020 season (played in the spring), where he was impressive. Against Furman, he became the first quarterback in program history to throw for 400 yards in a game, throwing for 406 yards in a 26-14 win over Furman.

In the matchup against Point, Peevy went 9-for-12 with 139 yards, a touchdown, and an interception before being relieved by his backups in the blowout. His primary backup is Dylan Fromm, younger brother of Buffalo Bills and former Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm.

The leading rusher for the Bears last week was Tommy Pollack, who is actually listed on the roster as a linebacker, but carried the ball 13 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns against Point. The Bears also boast former Appalachian State grad-transfer Nakendrick Clark in the backfield, who carried the ball eight times for 72 yards and a touchdown last week.

In all likelihood, Alabama is going to beat the brakes off of Mercer, but just don't tell Nick Saban that. Alabama fans will hope to see a complete game and a full 60 minute effort from the Crimson Tide on Saturday, and I have a feeling coach Saban will have them ready to do just that.

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