Ranked Alabama rolls against Colorado State

Ivan Schwartz
September 19, 2017

The top-ranked Crimson Tide struggled to get off the field on third downs and gave up 23 points and almost 400 yards Saturday night against Colorado State.

While receivers Calvin Ridley and Robert Foster helped blow the doors open on the game, with 92 and 52 yards respectively, running back Bo Scarbrough did much of the labor to move the ball down the field.

If defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt chewed on the D last week against Fresno State, who only scored 10 total points, then the defense should shine their butts up real nice and assume the position for another butt-chewing this week in practice.

"They made plays that we normally would make but didn't make", Alabama head coach Nick Saban said.

Colorado State combined for 271 total yards over its four scoring drives, during which the Rams tallied 16 of their 22 first downs and converted 8-of-10 third downs. "For us to answer the ball and come back and score points on that drive was huge, especially going into halftime". Hootie Jones took it 65 yards to the CSU 11, and two plays later, the hosts were comfortably ahead 38-10.

The score and long drive seemed to wake up Alabama's offense. The 78-yard hookup set a new career-best long pass for Hurts, surpassing his previous long of 71-yard on a pitch-and-catch against USC on September 3, 2016. Marquise Brown had career highs of six catches for 155 yards, including an 87-yard touchdown grab in the fourth quarter for the Sooners (3-0). Saban said he expects cotton to play against Colorado State. The balanced attack allowed him to complete 12 of his 17 pass attempts for 248 yards and two touchdowns.

Ole Miss will be hoping to pull off the upset in Tuscaloosa for the second straight time, with the Rebels walking away with a 43-37 victory back in 2015.

Colorado State got off to a slow start, putting up just 11 yards of offense in the first quarter and quickly falling behind 14-0.

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Giving up 391 yards and 22 points to an up-and-coming Mountain West team like Colorado State isn't the worst crime imaginable for a defense.

The first down came by penalty though, as senior wide receiver Michael Gallup was able to draw a defensive pass interference call on the first play of the series. "We forgot who we were playing, and were on our heels and that's something we've got to correct". He says Forristall will undergo surgery for the injury sustained against Colorado State after his first catch of the season.

Colorado State: The four-touchdown underdogs didn't wilt under the early onslaught.

Eight different players caught passes and two more were targeted.

First, Alabama's defensive line continues to struggle to get a decent pass rush without the help of an extra rusher off the edge. "We didn't execute", Saban said.

Kamryn Pettway ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns as Auburn overcame five turnovers to hold off FCS school Mercer in another troubling performance by the Tigers' offense. He rushed for 103 yards and another score.

"We didn't execute very well defensively - not stopping the run, not getting off the field on third down, we didn't play great in the red zone - so we have a lot of work to do", Saban said.

"We weren't going to give them the ball back, that was the rationale", he said.

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