Alabama vs.Western Kentucky
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama rolled up 557 yards of total offense and scored five touchdowns, including three on the ground, in a dominating 41-7 performance over Western Kentucky (1-2) in front of a sellout crowd at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama (3-0) scored early and often, holding a 17-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 31-7 lead at the half.
Though Alabama did the bulk of its damage on the ground – the Tide recorded 281 rushing yards and three scores – it was a record-breaking night for quarterback John Parker Wilson, who finished the game 17-of-27 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. On an 8-yard pass to Mike McCoy in the second quarter, Wilson passed former Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle as the career leader in total offense. Wilson ended the game with 6,321 yards in his Alabama career, lifting him above Croyle’s total of 6,205.
Additionally, Wilson passed former Tide quarterback Andrew Zow in the first quarter for second place in career passing yards and tied the Alabama career record for touchdown passes in the third quarter. Wilson trails only Croyle for the top spot on each list. Alabama received a pair of first quarter touchdowns from freshman tailback Mark Ingram to open up an early lead over the Hilltoppers. Ingram punctuated the Tide’s first drive with an 8-yard score, and then took one in from six yards out a few minutes later.
Ingram finished the game with nine carries for 51 yards and two touchdowns. The Tide’s leading rusher was Glen Coffee, who ran the ball 11 times for 97 yards, all in the first half, an average of 8.8 yards per rush. Alabama also got a first half touchdown from sophomore Terry Grant, on a rush from eight yards out. The Tide’s final score of the half came after a Western Kentucky touchdown, when Wilson led Alabama back down the field, capping the drive with a 2-yard pass to Nick Walker for a 31-7 lead at the break.
Wilson’s second passing touchdown came in the third quarter, on a 12-yard throw to freshman Julio Jones. Jones finished the game as the Tide’s leading receiver, with five catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Earl Alexander, in his first action of the season, caught three passes for 50 yards. McCoy had three catches for 42 yards.
It was a dominant night for the Alabama defense, as the Tide held Western Kentucky to just 158 total yards, including 42 on the ground. It was Alabama’s fourth straight game to hold its opponent under 100 rushing yards, dating back to last season’s Independence Bowl win over Colorado. Alabama forced two turnovers, recovering a fumble in the first quarter and intercepting a pass in the fourth.