With undefeated Auburn (11-0) right around the corner in next week’s Iron Bowl, 10th ranked Alabama went outside the Southeastern Conference Thursday evening, easily defeating visiting Georgia State 63-7 in front of some 101,000 fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
‘Bama compiled 478 total yards (262 rushing, 216 passing) on offense, while the defense forced five turnovers, leading to 35 Crimson Tide points.
Seven different ’Bama players scored touchdowns, led by junior wide receiver Julio Jones, who finished with a pair of scores on the night to go along with seven catches for 86 yards.
Senior quarterback Greg McElroy was 12-of-13 for 159 yards and two touchdowns, while junior running back Mark Ingram totaled 102 yards of offense (86 rushing on 12 carries, 16 receiving on one reception) and a score. Freshman running back Eddie Lacy rushed for 81 yards on 13 carries and a score as well for the Tide. Sophomore running back Trent Richardson was held out of his second straight game to nurse an injury, but is expected to be ready for Auburn next Friday (Nov. 26).
Meantime, C.J. Mosley became the first freshman linebacker in Alabama football history to have a pair of interception returns for touchdowns in the same season following his 41-yard interception return for a touchdown at the outset of the second quarter. Moseley returned an interception 35 yards for a score earlier in the season in Alabama’s 31-6 victory over Florida.
“I was really pleased with the way our guys came out and played in this game today,” Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban said. “We wanted to develop habits in this game that would help us in the future, and I was very pleased with the way we did that tonight. It was a short week so we had a different kind of preparation, but the intensity, the toughness and the effort in the way we played the game was the way we wanted to play. We wanted to try to play to a standard, and I was really pleased with the way we did that.”
In a game that was never in doubt, the biggest pluses of the night were no injuries for the Tide, along with the opportunity to go deep into the bench and get reserves some quality minutes.
“I thought our players showed maturity in the way they handled this short week,” Saban added. “I was pleased with the support that our fans gave us in coming out. It was exciting to be able to get so many guys the opportunity to play.”
With the attention now focused on Auburn, the Crimson Tide will no doubt have hopes of spoiling a perfect season for their arch-rivals.
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Written by Dave Thomas