Hurts leads No. 1 Alabama past Fresno State

12 September, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Sherri Guerrero
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Fresno State had some issues up front in its opening rout of Incarnate Word, but the offensive line actually played much better Saturday in a 41-10 loss at No. 1 Alabama.

It took Alabama just two plays to find the end zone.

ABOUT FRESNO STATE (1-0): Sophomore quarterback Chason Vigil passed for 246 yards and one touchdown in his first game in the Tedford system as the Bulldogs posted their highest-scoring output since the Derek Carr-led team put up 69 against New Mexico in 2013.

Bo Scarbrough, running back, junior, 6-foot-2, 232 pounds: exclusively judging on statistics, Scarbrough had a forgettable week one performance, rushing for only 40 yards on 15 carries - the most carries of any Crimson Tide running back.

Womack played at right tackle for the Tide and helped pave the way for an offense that racked up 305 yards rushing and 497 total yards of offense Saturday.

Hurts also hit a wide-open Hentges for a 23-yarder in the first quarter.

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Hurts finished the game with 18 passes, 14 completions, a 77% completion percentage and 10 rushes for 154 yards. "They played hard, and that's really a sign of what we've been preaching - to compete every single play, and I thought they did that, but there's a lot to learn from this game of course". Virgil was 21-for-34 for 180 yards with an interception. It was the most tackles a Bulldog since Stratton Brown had 15 against Air Force (10/28/16). UA quarterbacks haven't thrown an interception, and the Crimson Tide recovered its lone fumble. Hurts has thrown for 3,004 yards in 17 career games.

Overall - A: Alabama may not have covered the 44-point spread, but it was nevertheless a dominant performance against an overmatched Fresno State. Damien Harris punched in a 5-yard score to take a 28-3 lead into halftime. Early in the second quarter, freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa got the opportunity to come in and play with the first-team offense.

In its final three games last season - against Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship contest, Washington in the Peach Bowl national semifinal and Clemson in the title game - Alabama opened by going three-and-out all three times. Tagovailoa was 6-for-9 for 64 yards in his college debut with a 16-yard touchdown pass to another highly touted freshman, Henry Ruggs III. "He'd tell you there were things he could do better".

Losing four linebackers to injury in the opening game (two for the season, two indefinitely) surely impacted Alabama's ability to get to the quarterback.

- It was the third time in program history that Fresno State has played the No. 1-ranked team in the country. Production should be up this week for the bruiser and all of his running back comrades against a Fresno State run defense that permitted 4.9 yards a carry last season.

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