(2) Alabama - 48, Kent State - 7
September 3, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 2 Alabama football team opened the 2011 season with a
48-7 win over the Kent State Golden Flashes before a sold-out crowd of 101,821
at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Marquis Maze #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide returns a punt up field during the
first quarter past long snapper Ryan Hidalgo #34 and linebacker Kyle Reese #13
of the Kent State Golden Flashes.
Photo Credit - Greg McWilliams/Getty Images
The Crimson Tide piled up 482 yards of total offense while the defense limited
Kent State to just 90 total yards, including minus nine yards rushing. UA sophomore
quarterback AJ McCarron finished the day 14-of-23 for 226 yards and two touchdown
passes while senior Marquis Maze led all receivers with 118 yards on eight
receptions and a touchdown. Maze also added 135 return yards on special teams.
Sophomore running back Jalston Fowler led the Tide with 69 yards rushing on four
carries, including a 49-yard touchdown run. Sophomore running back Eddie Lacy
added 134 total yards (76 receiving, 58 rushing) and a touchdown while Trent
Richardson finished with 37 yards on 13 carries and a game-high three touchdowns.
"Obviously, it's a good win for us," UA head coach Nick Saban said. "It's always
good to get a win under your belt. There were a lot of things that we did well
today. We ran a lot of good plays, and we had a lot of players get experience.
That experience also brings a lot of learning opportunities for our young guys
that play critical positions. We have a lot to learn and a lot of things we can
After forcing a Kent State punt on the game's opening possession, Alabama marched
36 yards in eight plays as Richardson barreled into the end zone from one yard
out to make the score 7-0. Following another Kent State punt, the Crimson Tide
needed just four plays to cover 74 yards, capped off by McCarron's 24-yard
touchdown strike to Maze to make the score 14-0 less than seven minutes into
Alabama got on the board again at the close of the first quarter as Richardson
scampered into the end zone from nine yards out to make it 21-0. The Crimson
Tide would score once more before the close of the half as Jeremy Shelley
connected on a 36-yard field goal to put Alabama up 24-0 at the half.
Kent State notched its first and only score of the game at the 9:13 mark of the
third quarter following a Crimson Tide turnover to make the score 24-7. Alabama
answered back quickly with an eight play, 76-yard drive culminating in a one-yard
Richardson touchdown run, his third of the day, to make the score 31-7.
Following a Kent State turnover on downs, Lacy added to the Crimson Tide's lead
with a one-yard touchdown run to make the score 38-7 at the 4:04 mark of the
third quarter. Two possessions later Fowler rumbled into the end zone from 49
yards out at the beginning of the fourth quarter to push the Crimson Tide lead
to 45-7. Shelley would add a 32-yard field goal to close out the scoring for
The Alabama defense surrendered just 90 total yards and allowed Kent State to
cross midfield just once for the entire game. The Crimson Tide did not allow a
first down until the 6:42 mark of the second quarter, while registering four
sacks and seven tackles for a loss. True freshman linebacker Trey Depriest led
Alabama with 10 tackles on the day while junior linebacker Dont'a Hightower and
senior linebacker Courtney Upshaw each added seven tackles. Senior cornerback
Phelon Jones added an interception for the Tide as well.
Alabama will travel to State College, Pa., to take on the Penn State Nittany
Lions next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. central time and will
be televised by ABC.