TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – – Alabama scored on a long touchdown pass, a six and a blocked tackle.
And that’s just the first six minutes.
The Crimson Tide (3-0) scored for the offensive, defensive and special teams in the first six minutes and took a 28-0 lead in the first half. It’s been a whirlwind start against the Warhawks (1-2) a week after a closer-than-expected win over Texas saw Alabama take the #1 spot in the rankings.
Tide coach Nick Saban then challenged the team to play to the show’s lofty standards more consistently.
“There’s some evidence that this is the standard we want to play,” Saban said, noting that competition is getting stiffer with the upcoming Southeast Conference game.
It wasn’t a seamless performance for either Tide or Young, the defending Heisman Trophy winner. But exceptional teams have come through, including a school record for punt-returning yards.
Young completed 13 of 18 passes at 236 yards but also had his first two interceptions of the season. He ran to a 7-yard score, where he spun near the goal line and dashed past.
Anderson intercepted his career first at 25 yards for a touchdown, one play after Young’s initial pick. The national team leader a year ago, he also got his second dismissal of the season.
“What can’t he do?” who turned back / came back Kool-Aid McKinstry speak.
“He might be surprised to catch it, I won’t lie,” queue person Henry To’oTo’o speak. “He was a bit stiff and he just watched it as they made the mark on the board. And he said, ‘I can’t believe I did that.'”
Malachi Moore got a short point after a tackle from Ja’Corey Brooks.
“It went like most people thought it would,” Louisiana-Monroe coach Terry Bowden said. “They played too well against us in every phase of the game. You can watch the video and say that’s what you’re going into, but you’re still prepared for them not playing well or something. Not good. And you have a better game.
“And when I spoke to the whole team afterwards, they were brilliant in every ball.”
Jahmyr Gibbs remains Tide’s most versatile weapon. He hit 36 yards with nine runs and caught four passes in 65 metres, including a touchdown from 37 yards when he tackled a defender and missed a few tackles.
The Tide overtakes Louisiana-Monroe 509-169.
Louisiana-Monroe: Managed to keep a bad start from snowballing more for a while and actually trailed just 132-125 on Alabama’s second-half final push. Bowden is currently losing 3-4 to Tide, with his first six meetings as manager of rival Auburn from 1993-98.
Alabama: This won’t make much sense in the big picture for Alabama’s season, but it started off as a nice, quick rebound from the Texas game. The Tide had a lull before a pristine TD dynamic directed by Young in the final two minutes before halftime.
Alabama had a 262-yard punt return to break the 75-year-old game record set before LSU in 1947. McKinstry flirted with the score in back-to-back games and Brian Branch produced in the fourth quarter. McKinstry averaged 34 yards in his first four comebacks. Branch then returned a short 68-foot ball to a TD. Gibbs also had a 57-yard kick back.
“The roadblocks did their job and I can’t help but thank them for creating the lanes for me,” McKinstry said.
There’s no chance Alabama will overtake Georgia No. 1 on Sunday after the Bulldogs beat South Carolina 48-7. Chances are Tide will stay.
Alabama’s receivers are, for the most part, having quiet seasons. However, the tight finish came up again in the final first half. Cameron Latu had three catches, including a 38-yard player when he passed a down full-back. Preparatory freshmen Amari Niblack then caught his first pass, a 15-yard TD.
Alabama hosts Vanderbilt in the opening game of the Southeast Conference.
Louisiana-Monroe is hosting Louisiana.