(12) Alabama - 34, University of Louisiana-Monroe - 0
September 26, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The 12th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide
(3-1 overall; 0-1 in the Southeastern Conference) shut out
the visiting ULM Warhawks (1-2; 0-0 in the Sun Belt
Conference) by a final score of 34-0 in front of 101,323
fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Alabama running back, kenyan Drake (17) gets outside the
Photo Credit - Kent Gidley
The Tide got off to another slow start offensively,
getting on the board with 2:38 remaining in the first
quarter thanks to a three-yard run by junior running
back Derrick Henry. Senior quarterback Jacob Coker
found freshman wide receiver Calvin Ridley for a
touchdown early in the second quarter, the first of
the rookie's career. In the second half, Alabama was
able to put the game away. Junior placekicker Adam
Griffith made field goals of 35 and 40 yards, and
Coker tossed two more touchdowns.
Defensively, the Tide dominated ULM. For the game, the
Alabama defense allowed a total of 92 yards from
scrimmage, the fewest yards given up by an Alabama
defense since the 2012 BCS Championship Game against
LSU, when the Tigers also gained 92 yards of offense.
The defense also recorded six quarterback sacks and 12
tackles for loss.
Alabama gained 303 yards total yards (166 passing and
137 rushing) and converted 17 first downs. The Warhawks
picked up 83 yards through the air and nine on the ground,
along with gaining 10 first downs.
ULM won the toss and deferred their option to the second
half. Alabama received the opening kickoff. Sophomore
ArDarius Stewart took the ball out to the 16, but the
Crimson Tide offense went three-and-out quickly. A punt
of just 18 yards gave the Warhawks the ball at the
Alabama 40, but the Tide defense responded and ULM
was forced to kick the ball away.
Freshman receiver Calvin Ridley picked up the initial
first down of the game, hauling in a pass from Coker
and racing down the sidelines for 13 yards. Coker
found Richard Mullaney over the middle on third-and-4
to keep the drive going, but a completion to junior
tight end O.J. Howard on the next series came up just
shy of another first down. A 39-yard punt from sophomore
JK Scott put the ball at the 18 for the Warhawks' next
A sack by senior linebacker Denzel Devall shut down
ULM's offense before it could get going, resulting
in a second consecutive three-and-out. After the punt,
the Tide took over at their own 45. An 11-yard pass
to sophomore receiver Cam Sims moved the ball across
midfield, then Henry burst ahead for 10 yards on
third-and-5. From there, Henry and senior running
back Kenyan Drake chipped away at the remaining 26
yards to the end zone. On fourth-and-1 from the 3,
Henry powered through the defense for the touchdown.
The drive covered 55 yards in 11 plays and took 3:47
off the clock, making the score 7-0 with 2:33 left
to play in the opening quarter.
The Warhawks could get nothing going offensively, as
quarterback Garrett Smith completed just one of his
three passes on their next series. Alabama once had
good field position following the ULM punt, but couldn't
capitalize on it this time as Coker misfired on
three-straight pass attempts.
The second quarter began with the Warhawks on offense,
but they failed to pick up a first down for the fourth
consecutive possession. On fourth down, punter Chris
Qualls could not handle the snap, as the ball rolled
nearly to the goal line. He was able to pick the ball
up and get it back to the 15, but was tackled there.
The Tide immediately cashed in on the opportunity, as
Coker connected with Ridley for a touchdown on the next
play. It was the first touchdown of Ridley's career.
That extended the score to 14-0 in favor of Alabama
less than two minutes into the quarter.
After the fifth Warkhawks three-and-out of the half,
the Tide had possession once again, but an errant pass
by Coker was intercepted at the ULM 38 by Tre' Hunter
and returned to midfield. The Warhawks appeared to
have picked up a first down thanks to a targeting penalty
on third down, but the call was overturned following a
review, producing a sixth three-and-out in the opening half.
Alabama started its next possession at the 7, and used
an effective balance of running and passing plays to
reach the 50. However, the drive stalled there when a
pass intended for Sims fell incomplete. It appeared the
Warhawks would go three-and-out for a seventh time, but
fourth-and-3 punter Qualls lobbed a pass over the middle
to tight end Harley Scioneaux out of a punt formation.
Scioneaux gained up five yards on the play for a first
down, ULM's first of the game. The offense would convert
an additional first down, but the drive went no farther
and the Alabama offense took the field again.
This time it was the Warhawks defense that came up with
a three-and-out. The possession started with a five-yard
completion from Coker to Ridley, but the Tide could not
collect a first down. Scott's punt was a good one,
covering 43 yards to give ULM the ball back at the 18
with just over three minutes to play in the half.
With the defense forcing another three-and-out, Alabama
got the ball back for one final possession in the half,
taking over in Warhawks territory. Coker and the offense
could not move the ball, though, as the senior
quarterback was hurried and missed his target on
fourth-and-4. ULM tried to put together a drive in the
final minute, but Smith's pass was intercepted by senior
defensive back Geno Matias-Smith on fourth down. It was
the Warhawks quarterback's first interception thrown
since the second drive of their season opener against
Coming out of the locker room, ULM successfully converted
two first downs to reach midfield, but failed to pick up
a third when Smith was stopped on a scramble on
third-and-2. Following a penalty on the punt, Alabama
started its first drive of the half at the 36. Drake led
the Tide down the field, moving the ball into the red
zone. Facing a fourth-and-1, Alabama's offense stayed
on the field, but a false start penalty pushed the ball
back five yards. That sent junior place kicker Adam
Griffith out for a 40-yard attempt, which he drilled
through the uprights to give the Tide a 17-0 lead.
ULM's offense went three-and-out again, with Smith
throwing incompletions on all three plays. The Warhawks
were flagged for kick catch interference during the punt,
giving Alabama another short field. Starting at the
ULM 40, freshman running back Damien Harris gained 18
total yards on a pair of rushes. Two plays later Coker
rolled out and dumped a pass off to senior tight end
Michael Nysewander, who took it 19 yards for the score.
The drive was a brief four plays, 40 yards in 2:03 and
increased the lead to 24-0 midway through the third
The teams traded three-and-outs late in the quarter, and
the score remained 24-0 going into the final 15 minutes.
A Warhawks punt in the opening seconds of the fourth
quarter gave the ball to Alabama at the 47. Coker used
his throwing arm to lead the offense down the field,
hitting junior wide out Chris Black for a couple of
completions and Sims for another. However, for the
second time in the game, a drive stalled in the red zone.
Griffith came out for another field goal try, this one
from 35-yards, and it was good. The drive was a total of
35 yards in seven plays in 2:19, giving the Tide a 27-0
Alabama's defense came up with a big play on ULM's next
offensive possession. Facing third-and-15, Smith's pass
was tipped and then intercepted by freshman defensive
back Ronnie Harrison, who took the ball back to the
Warhawks 19. On the second play of the drive, Coker hit
Stewart just inside the pylon for a 16-yard touchdown
strike. The Tide held a commanding 34-0 advantage with
10:05 to play.
ULM would respond with its best drive of the game,
holding the ball for over five minutes and marching
43 yards down the field. However, a sack on fourth down
ended the drive and preserved the shutout.