Does Miami’s Quarterback Have What it Takes to Topple the Alabama Crimson Tide?
Alabama head coach Nick Saban does not lose football games very often. In fact, he has only lost 23 game in his 14 seasons in charge of the Crimson Tide and just 17 losses since 2008.
It takes a special team to take down a Saban-led Alabama squad and, in particular, a special quarterback. Of his 17 losses since 2008, Saban has been taken down by four Heisman Trophy winners and six teams that went on to win national championships.
The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide's first game of the season is on Sept. 4 at 2:30 p.m. in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic against the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Canes are the third-highest ranked ACC team heading into the season and star quarterback D'Eriq King is a preseason Heisman favorite.
Do D'Eriq King and the Hurricanes have what it takes to take down Alabama?
"He’s a very good player. He’s a very athletic guy. Great feet, good quickness. Very good runner. Can extend plays. Is a good passer. He presents a lot of problems. They go fast. He does a really good job of operating their up tempo type offense," Saban said during media availability. "This guy is a really good player. It’s going to be very challenging for us, not only because he’s a really good quarterback but he’s a great athlete playing the position."
King passed for 2,686 yards with 23 touchdowns while rushing for 538 yards and four touchdowns in his first season as the Hurricanes quarterback. King unfortunately tore his ACL in the Cheez-It Bowl against Oklahoma at the end of 2020 but he is reportedly excelling in his rehab and is ready to take on the Tide to open the new year.
“I think there’s no better way to open up your season than vs. the best team of the last decade,” King said to Stephen A. Smith. “Obviously, they won that national championship last year. It’s a big task. They have a great team, probably the best head coach of all time. So, I think we’re looking forward to the opportunity to go out there and compete against those guys, especially in a neutral site in Atlanta in front of thousands and thousands of people. We’re just practicing every day, getting ready for the opportunity to show what we can do.”
King will be breaking in new receiving options this fall, as Mike Harley and Brevin Jordan have graduated and gone onto the NFL. King turns to junior Mark Pope and Oklahoma transfer Charleston Rambo to try to test the Alabama secondary in Atlanta.
“I’m a very confident guy. I think we’re gonna finish No. 1" King said. "I’m never going to say we’re going to lose to anybody. I’m super confident, and I’m confident in my teammates."