Alabama Athletics
Alabama blanked Mercer on Saturday.

Alabama football earns top spot in AP Poll following win over Mercer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama football took the No. 1 spot in the latest AP Top 25 Poll following its blowout win over Mercer.

Alabama football blanked Mercer, 56-0, on Saturday to earn its senior class win No. 51.

This group of seniors holds a four-year record of 51-4 (.927). The 51 wins tied the school and NCAA record of 51 set by Alabama’s 2016 senior class, which posted a 51-6 (.895) career record.

The Crimson Tide received 58 first-place votes. No. 2 Miami received three first-place votes.

Oklahoma, Clemson and Wisconsin rounded out the top five.

Alabama’s first-team offense came out hot and never cooled off while in the game.

Sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts was 7-of-7 passing for 180 yards and 3 touchdowns, which moved him into fifth place on Alabama’s career touchdown passes list with 37. One of Hurts’ 3 touchdowns went to junior receiver Calvin Ridley, who finished the day with a team-high 103 yards on 3 catches. The touchdown catch moved Ridley to third on the Alabama career touchdown receptions list with 17 and his 2,672 career receiving yards ranks fourth.

Alabama’s offense will need to get off to a hot start when the Crimson Tide face Auburn next week. The Tigers have one of the top defenses in the country, so it’ll likely take Alabama’s best effort of the season to pull out a win on the Plains.

Anytime you pitch a shutout it’s a good day. Mercer moved the ball at times, but the Bears never really threatened to score.

Alabama had 3 interceptions with Hootie Jones, Deionte Thompson and Dylan Moses all having takeaways. Speaking of Moses, he was the star of the day.

Starting at Mike linebacker, Moses had a game-high 11 tackles, including 10 solo stops, to go with 4 tackles for loss and an interception.

Alabama held Mercer to 161 yards of offense and only allowed the Bears to convert 5 of 16 third downs.

Punter JK Scott handled all of the kicking duties with kicker Andy Pappanastos out due to a lingering injury. Scott didn’t attempt a field goal, but he was perfect on his 8 extra-point attempts.

Pappanastos should be back against Auburn, so Alabama’s special teams will be whole again.

Mercer was a nice tune-up for the Crimson Tide. The biggest positive from this game was Alabama escaped without any significant injuries. That’s huge as Alabama turns its sights to the Iron Bowl on Nov. 25.

This season comes down to this for Alabama: win the Iron Bowl. The winner of Alabama-Auburn game will earn the chance to play Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 2.

Sitting at 11-0 overall, including 7-0 in SEC, Alabama has an opportunity to complete an undefeated regular season for the fourth time during Nick Saban’s tenure.