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Alabama Players Remark on Bryce Young's Running Performance against Tennessee

Young rushed for 42 yards off of 10 carries and reached the end zone twice against the Volunteers.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Last Saturday in Alabama football's 52-24 win over Tennessee, sophomore quarterback Bryce Young exhibited as aspect of his game that he previously been utilized on rare occasion this season.

His running game.

The Crimson Tide has seen glimpses of Young's running potential here and there over the course of the team's first seven games, but in its eighth game against the Volunteers, something clicked in the young signal-caller's mind. In total, Young rushed 10 times for 42 yards — good enough for second-best on the team — and recorded two rushing touchdowns on the night.

While Young has always been labeled as a dual-threat quarterback, the running portion of his abilities has been relatively quiet since being named the team's starter in 2021. That being said, it was on full display on Saturday night inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

On Tuesday, several Alabama players met with the media for their only opportunity during the bye week. Offensive lineman Evan Neal was first up and said that Young's running ability was a pleasant surprise.

"I wouldn't say I'm winded," Neal said. "At some point when he takes off, I'm kinda just left watching because I'm like 'Alright, what am I supposed to do? I don't want to hold the guy.' Kinda exciting. He kinda surprised me, I didn't know he was that shifty, so he kinda surprised me."

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While being effective at running the football opens up the opportunity to gain yards on the ground, a quarterback being mobile also provides an offense with the option to gain yards in the air as well. Against Tennessee, Young's mobility to be able to leave the pocket and complete a pass became another staple in Alabama's win.

Tight end Cameron Latu said that in moments where Young is forced to scramble, it's up to the receivers to find an opening for their quarterback to take advantage of.

“As a receiver or someone that catches the ball, you wanna get in his vision when he scrambles," Latu said. "[The receiver has] got to just have the mentality that the whole route is just shut down, just get in his vision so that he can get the ball off.”

Alabama is now in its bye week before hosting LSU on Nov. 6. With a 7-1 record and sitting atop the SEC West, the Crimson Tide has four more games before it potentially makes a trip to Atlanta and the SEC Championship Game.

Young unlocking his ability to scramble will certainly be a welcome addition in the final weeks of the regular season. That being said, the Alabama offensive line has given up an average of 2.5 sacks a game this season and still has some room for improvement in that department.

Neal and his teammates are well-aware of this fact and hope to provide Young with all the time he needs heading into the latter portion of the season.

"We just have to continue to improve," Neal said. "Obviously, no one wants to give up sacks, but we just have to keep taking it one play at a time. And continue to just try and get better. I feel like us being on the same page more and ironing out our communication, you know, I feel like that will help. We just have to keep taking it day-by-day and work on getting better."