Alabama vs.San Jose State
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Running backs Eddie Lacy and Trent Richardson each rushed for a pair of touchdowns, and top-ranked Alabama began defense of its national title with a 48-3 win over San Jose State.
Greg McElroy and AJ McCarron each had a touchdown pass for the Crimson Tide (1-0), who were without two key players. Heisman Trophy winning running back Mark Ingram sat out after undergoing surgery on his left knee and defensive end Marcell Dareus was ruled ineligible for two games.
McElroy connected on 13-of-15 passes for 218 yards, while McCarron finished 9-of-15 for 116 yards. Lacy rushed for 111 yards. Julio Jones made a one-handed touchdown catch in the second quarter as the Crimson Tide rolled to a 31-3 halftime lead. Alabama had 591 yards of total offense.
"I think we are all starting to understand each other and understand communicating with each other. I think we can be a great unit. Now we have to get ready for a good Penn State team," Alabama free safety Robert Lester said.
Harrison Waid’s first-quarter field goal provided the lone score for the Spartans (0-1), who were under the guidance of new head coach Mike MacIntyre. Jordan La Secla completed 7-of-14 passes for 85 yards and was picked off once for the Spartans, who were limited to 175 yards of offense.
McElroy led the Tide to a touchdown on the opening eight-play, 71-yard drive. Richardson capped it with a four-yard TD run just 4:22 into the game.
"I’m just happy to be out there. It’s not really a start for me," Richardson said. "I’ve been playing football my whole life. I don’t call it a start. We’ve got a rotation going. It feels good to beat up on someone other than ourselves."
A 32-yard run by Brandon Rutley, combined with a 15-yard face mask penalty, set San Jose State up in Alabama territory. Harrison booted a 31-yard field goal with 7:26 left in the opening quarter. Less than three minutes later, McElroy found Marquis Maze along the right sideline for a 48-yard touchdown pass and a 14-3 cushion.
Lacy fumbled the ball away into the end zone later in the first quarter, but the Tide gained a 21-3 lead in the opening minute of the second when Richardson broke off a 39-yard touchdown run up the middle. The highlight of the night, though, came with 11:48 to go in the half. Jones took a pattern deep down the field. McCarron, a redshirt freshman, led him a bit too far, but Jones used his left hand to corral the ball as he landed on the goal line.
Waid hit the right upright on a 41-yard field goal try later in the second and Cade Foster capped the half by splitting the uprights from 41 yards out. Lacy, another redshirt freshman, scored on a 37-yard run early in the third, Foster added a 24-yard field goal later in the period, and Lacy ran up the middle for a 10-yard score in the first minute of the fourth.