Alabama report card: FCS opponent brings out perfection
Alabama overwhelmed FCS school Charleston Southern for a 56-6 victory on Saturday evening, but the final score doesn’t reflect the first-half carnage Nick Saban’s team inflicted.
The Tide led 49-0 at halftime after two quarters of nearly perfect football.
Let’s break it down:
How’s this for efficiency? The Crimson Tide had five offensive drives in the first half and scored touchdowns on all five. Derrick Henry scored the first two — tying Alabama’s single-season rushing record — while Jake Coker tossed a pair and Bo Scarbrough punched in the final one.
There’s not much more you can ask from your first offensive unit against a lesser opponent. The biggest positive sign was Coker’s play. He finished 11-of-13 for 155 yards, two scores and no interceptions.
There was no mercy from Kirby Smart’s defense until the halftime whistle blew. A unit that destroyed several SEC teams this year allowed just 31 yards to Charleston Southern’s offense in the first half.
Cyrus Jones was the MVP for what he did on both special teams (below) and defense; his defensive efforts included three tackles for loss and an intercepted pitch in enemy territory.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
Jones had the game of his life by playing great defense and returning two punts for touchdowns. The first score was fluky — it bounced off a Southern player and Jones made one guy miss for a 43-yard score — and the second (72 yards) was the result of awful coverage, but Alabama’s return unit looked good nonetheless.
An interesting moment: Saban made punter JK Scott attempt a second-half field goal from 33 yards out, but he pushed it past the right goalpost.
Saban got what he wanted: a blowout win without losing anyone to injury. Both coordinators called strong games and were able to get dozens of young players valuable experience in the second half.
Alabama turns its eyes to the Iron Bowl after taking care of business at Bryant-Denny Stadium for the final time this season.