A much talked about offseason met its official end on Saturday night with No. 4 Alabama's blowout 56-7 victory over Middle Tennessee.
The teams hadn't met since the 2015 season, but the result was the same. The Crimson Tide was dominant from the opening kickoff against a Blue Raiders team that had more than it could handle.
Alabama largely did what it wanted on offense and defense, posting a 28-point first half and not giving up any points until the late stages of the third quarter.
Rushing and passing were effective. The Crimson Tide's revamped running back stable had its chances to shine. Veteran back Jase McClellan scored a touchdown in the first half.
The burning offseason question of who is going to start the opener at quarterback was answered.
Jalen Milroe had the first snaps of the new season, and he made the most of his opportunity, dazzling through the air and on the ground. He had it working with his receiving corps.
Tyler Buchner came in immediately after Milroe's exit, despite much focus and fanfare around the position battle being directed down a Milroe vs. Ty Simpson avenue.
Buchner scored a nine-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Milroe went 13-for-18 through the air with 194 yards and three touchdowns. He had the first score of the season after recovering a bad snap and running it in himself.
Isaiah Bond, Jermaine Burton and Amari Niblack all scored their first touchdowns of the season courtesy of No. 4. Passing was his biggest question mark.
With a small sample size, Milroe showed confidence in himself and improved in that aspect of his game.
The defense lived up to its billing as a hard-nosed unit under new coordinator Kevin Steele.
That side of the ball gave the Blue Raiders fits all night. Freshman Caleb Downs had six tackles. UAB transfer Jaylen Key nabbed his first interception.