CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

October 5, 2013

ALABAMA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Tide offense, defense shine in blowout win

By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama’s offense slashed through Georgia State’s defense like warm butter all morning, piling up 477 yards of offense on the winless Sun Belt squad in a 45-3 victory. The Tide’s offensive line imposed its will on the hapless Panthers, as a unit that has looked shaky at times this year peeled off the cobwebs in preperation for a road trip to Kentucky next week.

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, who had been in a bit of a slump for the first four games — minus the College Station showdown, of course — took advantage of Georgia State’s porous defense to throw for 166 yards, completing 15 of 16 attempts for four touchdowns in just one half of action.

The rout was on from the opening kickoff, though the Tide blew it open late in the first quarter, forcing a Georgia State fumble during a kick return on the Rams’ own 10-yard line. McCarron floated a pass up to receiver DeAndrew White — who made a wicked, one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone — to pull ahead 21-0. Alabama never looked back from there.

Both the first and second team offenses kept pouring on points until the final whistle sounded, with a deep stable of running backs and receivers coming off the bench to keep the touchdowns coming.

Back-up quarterback Blake Sims checked in with four minutes left in the first half, eventually throwing for 130 yards and a touchdown.

After dominating the statistic in recent years, Alabama has ranked last in the SEC in rushing for most of the season. Runnings backs T.J. Yeldon, Jalston Fowler, Kenyan Drake and the rest of the gang looked to remedy that Saturday, with seven different players piling up a total of 181 yards on the ground.

 

% Defensive Shutout Ends: After holding Ole Miss scoreless last week, Alabama extended its shutout streak through the first half of Saturday’s game. But, the Panthers knocked in a 53-yard field goal early in the second half, which would be the team’s only score in the game. With the first-team defense on the field, Alabama held Georgia State to just 41 yards of offense in the first half and zero points.

The indefinite suspension of Alabama safety HaHa Clinton-Dix for an undisclosed breach of team rules didn’t have much of an impact on the proceedings, as Landon Collins and Geno Smith stepped in to fill the void in the secondary.

The Tide D allowed just 175 yards and never once let the Panthers into the red zone.

Linebacker C.J. Mosley let the Tide defense with six tackles, including two for a loss. Fellow linebacker Xzavier Dickson recorded Alabama’s only sack of the day.

 

% Trent Moore can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 134 or at trentm@cullmantimes.com.