Tua, Tide roll over Aggies

Alabama totals 603 yards of offense in rout

By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
Posted 9/8/19

TUSCALOOSA — It took just 13 seconds for the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide to establish control in Saturday’s victory over the New Mexico State Aggies.

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Tua, Tide roll over Aggies

Alabama totals 603 yards of offense in rout

Posted

TUSCALOOSA — It took just 13 seconds for the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide to establish control in Saturday’s victory over the New Mexico State Aggies.

On ‘Bama’s first play, Henry Ruggs III ran 75 yards untouched into the endzone, setting the tone for an offensive performance that included over 600 total yards in the 62-10 win.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who spent most of the second half of the game on the sidelines following a huge lead, connected on 16 of 24 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns, while adding another score on the ground on two carries of 33 yards.

Tagovailoa’s top target was Jerry Jeudy with eight catches for 103 yards and three touchdowns. Ruggs had 66 yards on four catches with a touchdown and Jaylen Waddle added 52 yards on two catches.

‘Bama’s top rusher was Keilan Robinson with five carries for 83 yards with a touchdown. Najee Harris contributed 68 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown.

Defensively, Alabama held New Mexico State to 262 total yards, 200 of which came in the second when the Crimson Tide’s starting unit had left the game. The Aggies ran for 101 yards, while throwing for 159 yards.

Xavier McKinney led the Alabama defense with six tackles and a forced fumble, along with Raekwon Davis’ six tackles with a tackle for a loss.

‘Bama’s defense forced three turnovers on the day — two coming on fumble recoveries and one on an interception.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban praised the execution and play of his starters, but expressed his disappointment in the performance of his back-up players.

“Our starters came out and played extremely well on both sides of the ball. I thought our back-up guys played sloppy. We couldn’t move the ball late in the game and the defense gave up too many big plays. These are the opportunities those guys get to earn playing time and showcase what they can do and I wasn’t happy with what I saw,” Saban said. “But a lot of guys got to play and get experience and that is something we can take out of this game.”

Ruggs’ quick one-play score to begin the game gave Alabama the 7-0 advantage after Will Reichard — who connected on off of his point-after kicks — put it through the uprights.

The Crimson Tide’s next score came on a 21-yard pass from Tagovailoa to Jeudy for the touchdown, pushing ‘Bama further ahead, 14-0.

Alabama closed out the first-quarter scoring on a 23-yard pass from Tagovailoa to Jeudy again for a 21-0 lead.

Tagovailoa threw another touchdown pass early in the second quarter — 10 yards to Ruggs — leaving the Crimson Tide in control, 28-0.

A 25-yard scoring run by Tagovailoa equaled his fourth overall touchdown on the day and left ‘Bama on top, 35-0.

One of the loudest cheers of the day came with one minute left in the first half when Reichard connected on a 48-yard field goal, leaving the Crimson Tide ahead, 38-0 at halftime.

Harris began the second-half scoring with an eight-yard touchdown run, extending the Alabama lead to 45-0.

The Aggies, who spent most of the first half confined to their own side of the field, got on the scoreboard on a four-yard pass from Josh Adkins to Jason Huntley, cutting the score to 45-7.

Mac Jones, in at quarterback for Alabama in relief of Tagovailoa, found Jeudy for a 19-yard touchdown pass, with the Crimson Tide in command, 52-7.

Reichard added another three point to the scoreboard with a 49-yard field goal for a 55-7 lead.

Robinson scored the final Alabama touchdown of the game on a 74-yard run to end the third quarter up 62-7.

New Mexico State connected on a 43-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter for the 62-10 final.

Alabama (2-0) opens SEC play next week when they travel to South Carolina (1-1).