Led by quarterback A.J. McCarron and a suffocating defense, the Alabama Crimson Tide opened the 2011 season with a 48-7 rout over the Kent State Golden Flashes.
The contest against KSU marked the first football game played in Tuscaloosa since a massive tornado destroyed life and property on April 27.
In respect to the actual game, Kent State was clearly overmatched, but on a few occasions the Alabama offense looked “out to lunch” and displayed inexperience and lack of chemistry.
Although Nick Saban has yet to name a starter for the contest at Penn State, A.J. McCarron appears to be the “man behind the wheel” based on his outing against KSU.
McCarron, who his vying for the starting job with redshirt freshman Phillip Sims; finished the afternoon 14-of-23 for 226 yards including a 24-yard touchdown strike to Marquis Maze.
Sims, who looked very “green” at times, finished the afternoon 7-of-14 for 73 yards.
One of the biggest points of contention in respect to the Alabama quarterback race is the turnover issue. While McCarron looked impressive, he, as did Sims, threw two interceptions on Saturday afternoon.
The Crimson Tide finished the day with a total of five turnovers, and it goes without saying…that can’t happen against Penn State.
Kent State was clearly an inferior opponent, but Alabama did have a solid day running the football.
Jalston Fowler, Eddie Lacy and Trent Richardson combined for 164 yards rushing and five touchdowns. The Crimson Tide finished the afternoon with a total of 183 yards on the ground as a team.
On the Receiving End
Redshirt freshman DeAndrew White looked very impressive in his Crimson Tide debut while Marquis Maze remains the solid receiver we’ve all come to know and love.
The return of Darius Hanks, in a little under two weeks, and the implementation of Duron Carter into the ‘Bama offense, should give the Alabama quarterback(s) more “comfort” as the month of September moves along.
In what is considered to be the stalwart and stout portion of the Crimson Tide…the ‘Bama defense proved to be just that against the Golden Flashes.
The Tide held KSU to just 90 yards of total offense including negative yardage on the ground.
Stats of Note
A.J. McCarron.....14/23 226 Yards 1 TD 2 INT
Phillip Sims.....7/14 73 Yards 0 TD 2 INT
Jalston Fowler.....4 Carries 69 Yards 1 TD
Eddie Lacy.....8 Carries 58 Yards 1 TD
Trent Richardson.....13 Carries 37 Yards 3 TD
Marquis Maze.....8 Receptions 118 Yards 1 TD
DeAndrew White.....4 Receptions 44 Yards
Eddie Lacy.....3 Receptions 76 Yards
Brandon Gibson.....1 Reception 18 Yards
Trent Richardson.....1 Reception 16 Yards
1st Downs.....Alabama 24 Kent State 6
Total Yards.....Alabama 482 Kent State 90
Passing Yards.....Alabama 299 Kent State 99
Rushing Yards.....Alabama 183 Kent State -9
Turnovers.....Alabama 5 Kent State 1
Fumbles Lost.....Alabama 1 Kent State 0
Interceptions Thrown.....Alabama 4 Kent State 1
Time of Possession.....Alabama 29:53 Kent State 30:07