No. 2 Alabama Spoils Beginning of Darrell Hazell Era
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama showed why it is ranked No. 2 in the nation Saturday with a 48-7 victory over Kent State at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson punched in three touchdowns, including two in a 21-point first quarter.
From that point forward, The Golden Flashes held the Tide to just three points on its next five drives and cut the lead to 24-7 early in the third quarter. Senior Norman Wolfe's (Akron, Ohio) third quarter interception was returned to the three yard line, setting up a touchdown pass from Spencer Keith (Little Rock, Ark.) to Justin Thompson (Gahanna, Ohio).
Alabama took charge once again in the third as a Richardson touchdown began a string of 24 unanswered points. The Kent State defense picked off four passes and forced a fifth turnover on a punt, but the Tide defense remained stout throughout the game, holding KSU running backs to 37 yards on 16 carries. Since last season, the Flashes were the ninth Alabama opponent to be held to 10 points or less.
"I'm proud to be associated with Kent State and the way they played today," Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban said of his alma in his postgame opening statement.
Kent State will play its home opener Saturday, Sept. 10 against Louisiana at Dix Stadium.
• Junior wideout Tyshon Goode passed Najah Pruden for fifth place on Kent State's career reception list now with 115. Goode has made a reception in 24-of-25 career games, including each of his last 21.
• Junior quarterback Spencer Keith passed Julian Edelman for fourth place among Kent State's leaders in career completions now with 403.
• Senior Norman Wolfe made his sixth career interception. Three of his interceptions have come against ranked opponents (two at Penn State 2010).
• Senior Josh Pleasant made his fifth career interception.
• Junior Sideny Saulter had his first career interception.
• Junior Leon Green made his first career interception.
• Senior Matt Rinehart had three punts of 50 yards or more, bringing his career total to 39.
• Senior Justin Thompson made a career-high four receptions
• Junior Tim Erjavec had a career-high three receptions
• Sophomore Roosevelt Nix recorded his 11th career sack.
• Junior Matt Hurdle had a career-high three receptions
• Freshman defensive back Calvin Tiggle led the Flashes with 10 tackles in his college debut
• Sophomore Mark Fackler had his first career forced fumble and sack.
First collegiate appearances were made by: Anthony Meray, Terrell Johnson, Carlows Brown, Anthony Pruitt, Casey Pierce, Calvin Tiggle, Larry Dawson, Richard Gray, Derek Jones, Chevin Meadows, C.J. Matthews, Dylan Farrington, Robert Hollomon, Chris Humphrey, Andre Parker, Vince Boden, Trayion Durham, Kyle Payton, Nick Conrad, DeVante Strickland. First time Kent State appearances were made by Eric Adeyemi and C.J. Malauulu,
First time starters: Calvin Tiggle, Byron Tyson, Kyle Reese, Terrell Johnson, Eric Adeyemi, Matt Hurdle, Ish Kitchen
Alabama Football vs. Kent State – Postgame Kent State Quotes
Kent State Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Darrell Hazell
Well that was obviously not the way we wanted to start out. I'm frustrated that we didn't execute offensively, but I thought the defense played well once we settled in. Our special teams didn't play very well. We dropped a punt, had one dribble back and our kickoff returns weren't good enough. We need to stay together as a team though. I believe we will, but we need to get a whole lot better by next weekend.
On the positives of today's game:
There were definitely some positives. I thought the defense and offense never gave up, but we didn't execute very well. We had a lot of guys playing hard and we got some turnovers on defense. But we need to pay close attention to film next week and make some adjustments.
On Alabama's defense:
They're a great defense. Their guards are hard to come by and the defense is excellent on every level. We thought if we could get short-yard gains, that would be good for us, but they stuffed us for negative gains on many occasion. Their corners are excellent so we need to do a better job executing our game plan.
On missed chances to stop the running game:
I don't know if it was nerves or we were out of position, but we had too many missed tackles. We had a lot in the first and fourth quarter, so we need to get better in that facet.
On Bryant-Denny Stadium's atmosphere:
I don't think we were intimidated at all. We just didn't play as fast as we could. We didn't come off the ball with the speed we've been playing with in practice this past week.
On Spencer Keith's play:
I thought he did a great job today. I don't know how many drops we had but I guess it was in the double digits. He missed a couple throws but overall he played very well.
#22 Jacquise Terry, Running Back
On the next step for the offense heading into the second week of the season:
Definitely like coach said, we have to play faster. I felt like we were pretty physical today but we didn't execute at all times. We had some overthrows, we had some guys drop some balls, some negative runs, but we also made some play. We'll definitely play faster next week.
On the play of the defense:
The defense, they were ball-hawking all day. We gained momentum each time they made a turnover. But we [the offense] just couldn't execute the way we wanted to.
#3 Spencer Keith, Quarterback
On the speed and strength of Alabama's team
It was about what we expected. We did some good things, we completed some short passes and made a few good runs, but they were a good defense. We knew that coming in and we just didn't execute right.
On the cheers Kent State received from the Alabama fans due
to their assistance in tornado recovery efforts:
We noticed it when we ran out and while warming up. Like coach said, it was really classy.