Two apiece on offense and defense with three selections on special teams
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama coaching staff selected seven players of the week following the Crimson Tide’s 51-14 season-opening win over Louisville last Saturday in the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. Tua Tagovailoa and Jonah Williams on offense, Deionte Thompson and Quinnen Williams on defense, and Keaton Anderson, Josh Jacobs and Jaylen Waddle on special teams all earned recognition for their performances against the Cardinals.
Tagovailoa, in his first start as a member of the Crimson Tide, accounted for 253 yards and three touchdowns. The sophomore quarterback completed 75 percent of his passes (12-16) for 227 yards and two scores while adding 26 yards rushing and a touchdown on five carries. Tagovailoa averaged 18.9 yards per completion and helped Alabama to a 10.5 yards per play average and five touchdowns on the six drives that he directed. The offense was aided by another strong performance up front from left tackle Jonah Williams. The junior graded out at a team-high 92 percent and missed only one assignment on 59 snaps with six knockdown blocks. He did not commit a penalty or allow any pressure on the Tide quarterbacks while helping to open holes that allowed Alabama’s rushing attack to accumulate 222 yards and three touchdowns.
On defense, Thompson, a junior, led all Alabama players in production points and finished with five tackles, 1.5 of which went for a loss. He added three pass breakups and contributed one of the Tide’s two interceptions on the night, returning the pick out of the Louisville endzone for a 25-yard gain. Williams was dominant up front in his first career start, leading the Crimson Tide defense in tackles and tackles for loss. The redshirt sophomore accounted for six total tackles, 3.5 of which went for a loss (-12 yards). He added one pass breakup and a quarterback hurry to his totals and anchored a defensive front that limited the Cardinals to just 16 rushing yards across 26 attempts.
Anderson, a redshirt junior, once again directed the Tide punt teams and graded out near the top of the special teams charts. Jacobs returned his only kickoff of the game for a 77-yard touchdown run to help UA put the game out of reach. The junior tailback graded out at 93 percent on his 14 special teams snaps across punt return, kick return and kickoff coverage. The freshman Waddle was effective on special teams in his first career game at Alabama, returning four punts for 80 yards with a long return of 31 yards.