No. 1 Alabama crushes Cajuns

Three different QBs throw touchdown passes

By CODY ESTERMERA, For the Eagle
Posted 9/30/18

TUSCALOOSA — No. 1 Alabama dominated the first half, scoring 49 points in the half, en route to defeating Louisiana-Lafayette 56-14 Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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No. 1 Alabama crushes Cajuns

Three different QBs throw touchdown passes

Posted

TUSCALOOSA — No. 1 Alabama dominated the first half, scoring 49 points in the half, en route to defeating Louisiana-Lafayette 56-14 Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama’s passing game was outstanding. It used three different quarterbacks and threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns. It had just four incompletions.

“I thought both quarterbacks played really well and executed really well,” coach Nick Saban said.

Tua Tagovailoa led the trio with 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Jalen Hurts was 4-of-6 with 118 yards and a touchdown.

Late in the third quarter, quarterback Mac Jones found receiver Jaylen Waddle on a slant route that receiver Jaylen Waddle took 94 yards for a touchdown. It was the second-longest pass play in program history.

Waddle continued to show off his explosiveness. The true freshman led all receivers with 138 yards and finished with two receiving touchdowns. His biggest contribution is usually in the return game. In his lone return, he broke numerous tackles and sprinted for a 63-yard touchdown, which was the first punt return since Eddie Jackson returned a punt against Tennessee in 2016.

“He’s fast,” running back Josh Jacobs said. “He’s elusive, and he’s physical. He’s just a special player. He’s going to be a special player for the next three or four years for this program.”

The running game was much improved after struggling against Texas A&M last week. The Crimson Tide used eight ball carriers to rush for 268 yards and three touchdowns. Jacobs finished with two touchdowns and 49 yards off six carries.

Defensively, the Alabama starters controlled the game. At halftime, the Ragin’ Cajuns had just 74 yards of total offense. They finished with 288 yards, 125 came in the fourth quarter. All 14 points came in the fourth quarter as well.

“As a defensive unit, I don’t think it’s close (to having a perfect game),” safety Xavier McKinney said. “We’re working toward it. I think we’re getting better each game, but I don’t think it was a perfect game or anywhere near a perfect game.”

As the first half clock expired, Louisiana-Lafayette quarterback Andre Nunez lofted a pass towards the northeast sideline for a last second scoring attempt, but junior cornerback Trevon Diggs came down with the ball for his first career interception.

Diggs was the only starter in the secondary without an interception.

“We finally got on him for that,” McKinney said. “We been on his head for a long time now since he didn’t have one. Now he’s part of the pick club, so I guess we like him now.”

McKinney intercepted Nunez’s very next pass for the last turnover of the game.

While Alabama was nearly perfect throughout the game, its kicking game was not. Kicker Joseph Bulovas missed both his field goal attempts, both less than 32 yards out.

“We probably would have gone for it on a couple of those fourth down situations, but we wanted to see if the kicker could develop confidence,” Saban said. “Obviously he missed two pretty easy field goals.”

The Crimson Tide heads to Fayetteville, Arkansas to face Arkansas for its next game on Oct. 6.