Alabama showed its form of the first nine games this season, scoring on its first five possessions. That included a 99-yard drive leading to AJ McCarron’s 29-yard touchdown pass to Christion Jones. The Tide also got a solid showing from backup quarterback Blake Sims, who accounted for 97 total yards and led scoring drives with the first- and second-team offenses. Defensively, Alabama outscored Western Carolina’s offense 7-0, getting a touchdown on Deion Belue’s 57-yard fumble return. Western Carolina managed just eight first downs.
What issues Alabama had, it had against the passing game. The first-team defense seemed to lose receiver Garrett Brown when Brown crossed the field and caught a 28-yard pass from Troy Mitchell in the first quarter. Backup quarterback Eddie Sullivan, more a passer than Mitchell, had his moments against Alabama’s reserves, leading a 10-play, 61-yard drive to Alabama’s 14-yard line in the third quarter. He completed three passes along the way, and Alabama had to stop Michael Johnson’s fourth-down rush to end the threat.
By the Numbers
3 — Number of times Alabama has gotten out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter this season. Alabama did it against Western Carolina, Michigan and Missouri.
5 — Number of 10-win seasons in a row for Alabama. Alabama has 32 seasons with double-digit wins and five in a row for the first time since 1971-75.
6 — Number of times Alabama has scored 40 or more points this season. The Tide did it against Michigan (41), Arkansas (52), Florida Atlantic (40), Missouri (42), Tennessee (44) and Western Carolina (49).
15-8 — Nick Saban’s record in November as Alabama’s head coach. That includes four losses in 2007, his first season with the Tide.
18 — Number of non-conference games in a row Alabama has won. The Tide is 25-3 non-conference under Saban.
21 — Number of touchdown passes thrown by Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron this season. That breaks the school record set by Greg McElroy in 2010.
47-0 — Alabama’s record since the start of 2008 season when rushing for at least 150 yards. Alabama rushed for 300 yards Saturday.
97 — Yards in total offense for backup quarterback Blake Sims on Saturday, including 70 rushing yards. He led two scoring drives, both resulting in touchdowns.