Alabama’s offense came out and scored touchdowns on its first three possessions of the game. There was only one penalty (a false start on offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor). Things looked clean from the start for the first time all season. The level of competition helped, but Alabama showed improvement after starting slow in every other game this year.
Alabama racked up 502 yards of total offense while averaging 6.3 yards per play.
Alabama will need to build on this fast start as the team returns to SEC play this week.
Alabama’s defense didn’t properly cover Kent State’s first offensive play. The result was a 47-yard gain. The Tide’s defense locked in from there. Kent State gained 7 yards the rest of the possession. The Golden Flashes missed a field goal attempt.
Kent State finished the contest with just 166 yards of total offense. Fifty-six of those yards came in the first quarter.
Alabama thwarted every Kent State scoring opportunity, including late in the game when the Tide’s backups were in.
Shutouts are good no matter who the opponent is.
Special teams: A
For the second straight week, Alabama scored a touchdown on a punt return. This time it was speedy return man Xavian Marks, who returned a punt 75 yards for the score late in the second quarter.
Kicker Adam Griffith was perfect on his two field-goal attempts, including a kick of 48 yards. That’s a positive for Alabama going forward because Griffith may be needed to win a game at some point.
The coaching staff managed to get the starters enough reps while also not getting anyone seriously hurt or injured. Running back Damien Harris should be fine, as he is day-to-day with an ankle sprain.
Alabama also got a lot of its young players in the game. The second-team offense and the second-team defense got to play the majority of the second half.
That game experience is a big plus in case any of the backups have to go in due to an injury to a starter.
“The goal going into this game was to play a complete game. We started fast and finished. I think we probably did that as well as we’ve done all year.”
That was Nick Saban’s assessment of how Alabama played. The offense started hot and didn’t commit a ton of penalties like they had in previous games. The defense gave up the one big play early, but settled in and pitched a shutout.
Alabama scored a non-offensive touchdown on special teams. All phases of the game contributed in the easy win.