The Crimson Tide broke a 75-year-old school record en route to its third-straight win to start the season
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 2/1 Alabama football team scored three non-offensive touchdowns and broke a 75-year-old school record for punt return yards with 262 in the Crimson Tide’s 63-7 victory over ULM inside Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Quarterback Bryce Young threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns on 13-of-18 passing to help the Crimson Tide compile 509 yards of total offense on the day.
The Alabama ground game combined for 273 yards on 39 carries with four running backs rushing for 40 or more yards. Running back Roydell Williams led the way with eight carries for 58 yards and a touchdown. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs led the Tide in receiving yardage, totaling 65 yards and a touchdown on four grabs.
Defensive back DeMarco Hellams led the Tide defense with nine tackles. Linebacker Henry To’oTo’o finished with eight tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack while linebacker Will Anderson Jr. added five tackles 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and his first career interception return for a touchdown.
Head Coach Nick Saban Said
“My message to the players before the game was that all these things that we do matter. You’re being judged to a standard as an individual player, we’re being judged to a standard as a team. And everybody’s going to make a choice and decision about are you going to play to that standard on a consistent basis, not every now and then. There’s a lot that goes into that: it’s preparation, it’s how you practice, it’s focusing on the things you need to do when you play against good competition so that you have a chance to be successful. Then the message after the game was, did you do that or not? And how would you be judged based on how you played and what you did? Obviously, a lot of good things out there today. We scored on defense, scored a couple of times on special teams, and had 262 yards in punt returns. We made plays on offense, started a little slow, but got better as it went. Defensively, I think we did a pretty good job and made some progress. There’s some evidence out there that this is the standard that we want to play to, but I think everybody’s got to judge what do we need to do to continue to improve with SEC play starting next week. So, I’ll take a little better effort on everybody’s part to play with consistency.”
- The Crimson Tide’s first three scores of the day were touchdowns that came, in order, on offense, defense and special teams
- Alabama broke a 75-year-old school record by accounting for 262 total punt return yards
- The punt return yards record was originally set on Nov. 22, 1947 when the Tide combined for 204 yards in a win over LSU
- Kool-Aid McKinstry led the way after fielding five punts for 136 yards, an average of 27.2 yards per return
- The 136 return yards for McKinstry stands as the third-highest in a game in program history, trailing Javier Arenas who set the school record with 153 yards vs. Tulane (9/6/08) and has the second most with 147 vs. Mississippi State (11/15/08)
- With his 236 yards passing on the day, Young now has 5,672 career passing yards to move past Jalen Hurts (5,626) for ninth on the school’s all-time list
- Young also moved past Mac Jones for third on the school’s all-time passing touchdown list with (57), with only Tua Tagovailoa (87) and AJ McCarron (77) throwing for more TDs in their UA careers
- Anderson Jr. intercepted a first-quarter pass and took it 26 yards to the house for the Tide’s second touchdown of the day, tallying his first career interception and pick six in the process
- After hitting all nine of his PATs, Will Reichard improves to 194-for-196 in his career
- With today’s PATs, Reichard, a fourth-year senior, set a new school record for extra points made in a career, moving past Adam Griffith who had 186 (186-for-188 from 2013-16)
- Reichard’s nine PATs on the day tied for the third-most in a game in UA history, following Harold “Red” Lutz (9/21/51 vs. Delta State) and Bill Davis (10/27/73 vs. Virginia Tech), who share the school record with 11 PATs in a game
- The announced paid attendance vs. ULM was 98.443
How It Happened
- 13:12 – UA | Alabama went 75 yards on four plays during the opening drive, capped by a 33-yard touchdown strike from Bryce Young to Traeshon Holden that took just 1:48 off the play clock
- 10:52 – UA | The Crimson Tide earned its first defensive touchdown of the season when Will Anderson Jr. intercepted a deflected pass and took the ball 25 yards to paydirt
- 08:50 – UA | A blocked punt by Ja’Corey Brooks was recovered by Malachi Moore at the four-yard line and returned for the second non-offensive touchdown of the first quarter
- 04:21 – UA | Young capped a four-play, 41-yard drive that took 1:45 off the clock when he rushed seven yards for the fourth touchdown of the quarter
- 10:11 – ULM | Jackson Malik put the Warhawks on the board with an 11-yard scamper to cap an eight-play, 57-yard drive that took 4:49 off the clock
- 00:52 – UA | Young found Amari Niblack for a 15-yard touchdown reception just before halftime that finished off a six-play, 93-yard drive in just 1:05
- 08:41 – UA | Gibbs took a Young pass and scampered 37 yards to paydirt, finishing off a four-play, 53-yard drive that took 1:23 off the clock
- 04:30 – UA | Williams scored his first touchdown of the year when he took a handoff 10 yards for the score to close out a five-play, 57-yard drive that lasted 1:56
- 12:36 – UA | Brian Branch broke free for the third non-offensive touchdown of the game when he took a punt 68 yards to the endzone
- 07:36 – UA | Alabama closed the scoring when Trey Sanders scored on a six-yard run to cap a 10-play, 49-yard drive that took 3:17
- Alabama remains home when it opens Southeastern Conference play by welcoming the Vanderbilt Commodores to Bryant-Denny Stadium next Saturday night
- The contest is scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m. CT and will be televised on SEC Network.