By firstname.lastname@example.org (Matthew Speakman)
It was a different week, but it was the same result for Alabama’s offense.
The Crimson Tide offense fired on all cylinders against Ole Miss. The Rebels were just another opponent in Alabama’s way as it walked away with a 66-3 victory, scoring 50-plus points for the second week in a row.
“I try go out there and play,” Jalen Hurts said. “I don’t think too much. I read and react. I just play ball.”
The Crimson Tide had 613 yards of offense, including 365 yards on the ground. In the last two games combined, Alabama has 1290 yards of offense and 125 points. Alabama’s 66 points tonight was its largest margin of victory and most points scored since a 66-3 win over Vanderbilt in 1979.
Running back Damien Harris said Alabama’s offense could have came out flat tonight, but the team’s leaders wanted to turn on the jets.
“Coming off of a win like we had last week, it would’ve been easy for the offense to kind of take a step back and not really look forward to what we had coming up next,” Harris said. “Guys like Jalen (Hurts) do a good job of keeping us grounded and focused.”
A lot of the offense’s was due to big plays in the passing game early on. Hurts finished with 197 yards passing and 2 TDs, as well as 101 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
After missing a couple of throws on the first few possessions, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Hurts started to get more comfortable. That led to two-straight passing touchdowns on consecutive drives in the first and second quarter.
“We made some explosive plays in the passing game,” Saban said. “I think Jalen (Hurts) settled down in the game. It seemed like he was a little out of sorts at the beginning of the game, but he settled down and played really well.”
Not only did Alabama have explosive plays, but they came from all over the field. In the win, nine different receivers caught passes, with three hauling in touchdown receptions. Calvin Ridley led all pass catchers with 60 yards.
Alabama has a lot of weapons on offense. The Crimson Tide want to get all of them involved as much as possible.
“We just want to continue to improve in all aspects of the game and utilize all of the skills guys that we have so they have a lot of production,” Saban said.
Hurts has been Alabama’s spark plug. Hurts had a strong season last year, and has picked up right where he left off. Tonight, he continued to take care of the ball while making plays on the ground and through the air.
His game speaks for itself, but Hurts has also stepped up to be one of Alabama’s main leaders this season. Running back Damien Harris said his vocal presence has been the biggest difference in his second season.
“The thing I notice about Jalen (Hurts) the most, is his vocal leadership,” Harris said. “Last year, he was just such a talent, I don’t know if he understood the full leadership that he could possess. As this year has gone on, he has done a great job of motivating us before the game and not letting us get lackadaisical.”
Hurts and the Alabama offense got going early. The Crimson Tide jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the first quarter. In the second quarter, it was more of the same. Alabama went into the locker room up 35-3 at half time.
Coming out of halftime, Alabama continued to pour it on. The Crimson Tide scored 31 points in the second half. Harris said the team can tell as the game goes along if they’re going to be able to dominate the opponent in the second half.
“You can see the defense is tired,” Harris said. “You can see them bending over with their hands on their knees. You can see that look in their eyes that they don’t want to play us that much anymore.”
Alabama will travel to Texas A&M next week to take on the 4-1 Aggies. Alabama is looking to sustain the dominant, offensive performances it has put on in SEC play so far.
“We have to keep doing this every single week,” Harris said. “There’s still things we should improve on. For the most part, we executed well and we were able to get a big win.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports