Alabama’s defense didn’t have the weight of the world on its shoulders, in the first half of the Crimson Tide’s 38-10 win over Western Kentucky, like it did last Saturday, but it played with the same intensity in the first half.
It only took three plays for linebacker Ryan Anderson and defensive lineman Jonathan Allen to find the quarterback after doing so three total times last week. Allen assisted with one more sack to help his team finish with four total sacks on Saturday.
“We usually improve a lot between the first game and the second game, and I was a little disappointed in some parts of our team today in terms of how we executed and what we did,” Saban said. “Defensively, I thought for the most part we played pretty well.”
The secondary also made some noise when it recorded two interceptions in the first half. Ronnie Harrison returned his for six yards then fellow safety Eddie Jackson took his back 55 yards for six points.
All in all the defense held the Hilltoppers to 239 yards of total offense while the other side of the ball fell just short of the 500 mark with 475 yards.
After struggling to move the ball early against Southern Cal last week, the coaching staff made history when it started a true-freshman (Jalen Hurts) at quarterback. The last time a true freshman started that position for the Crimson Tide was in 1984 when Vince Sutton did so against Southwestern Louisiana.
“I thought Jalen did okay,” Saban said. “He missed a couple throws, but we’re going to have to keep building with what these quarterbacks can do.”
The true freshman finished six straight drives before the Crimson Tide gave fellow quarterback Blake Barnett a chance. Hurts swapped back in later and played most of the second half.
Hurts finished the game 23-of-36 for 287 yards and two touchdowns while Barnett finished 2-of-6 for 64.
The Hilltoppers had no answers for wide receivers Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart who finished with 129 and 90 receiving yards respectively. Both guys also managed to find the end zone for the Crimson Tide.
Despite the success, the offense experienced at times it was the inconsistencies that Saban wanted to focus on after the game.
“We had too much pressure in the pocket, too many penalties, too many long yardage situations and too many dropped balls,” Saban said. “…I’m focused on what we need to do to improve rather than who’s going to be the quarterback right now. Whoever it is, they need to improve.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports