TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0) jumped out to a 28-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back en route to a 56-14 win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (1-3) Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was perfect on the day, going eight of eight passing for 128 yards and two touchdowns and leading two other scoring drives in his four series of action. Tagovailoa, junior Jalen Hurts and redshirt freshman Mac Jones combined for 340 yards and four touchdowns on 13-of-16 attempts.
Freshman Jaylen Waddle returned a punt 63 yards for a first-quarter touchdown and snared the first two touchdown receptions of his career, including a 94-yarder from Jones that equals the second longest scoring strike in school history. Sophomore wide out Henry Ruggs III led the Tide and set career highs in receiving yards (115), catches (five) and touchdowns (two).
On the ground, junior running back Josh Jacobs tied his career high with two rushing touchdowns, while sophomore Najee Harris led the way with 73 yards and a touchdown as the Tide totaled 268 yards on the ground.
Alabama finished the game with 608 total yards, surpassing the 500-total yard mark for the fifth time this season, marking the first time in school history a Tide team has reached that milestone in five consecutive games. The 56 points also gives the Tide a school-record string of five games in a row with 45 points or more.
Defensively, junior Deionte Thompson paced the Tide with a team-high seven tackles. Junior Trevon Diggs and sophomore Xavier McKinney each recorded an interception as Alabama limited Louisiana to 288 yards and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Alabama finished the opening drive of the game with a touchdown for the fifth-straight contest. The Tide used eight plays and compiled 72 yards on the score, capped by Jacobs going in untouched for the nine-yard score. Following redshirt freshman Joseph Bulovas’ kick, UA led 7-0 with 11:25 on the clock.
Louisiana’s first offensive drive of the game started with a three-and-out. When the Ragin’ Cajuns lined up for a punt at their own 31-yard line UA senior wide receiver Derek Kief ran straight through the line and blocked, then recovered the ball at the Louisiana 14-yard line.
Two plays later Tagovailoa found Ruggs III in the back of the end zone for a 13-yard strike. After the Bulovas extra point, Alabama held a 14-0 advantage with 9:25 remaining in the first.
Following another Louisiana three-and-out, Alabama made its second big play on special teams when Waddle received Louisiana’s second punt of the day at his own 37-yard line and weaved his way through the defenders, taking it to the house for a 63-yard score. Bulovas’ PAT made it 21-0 with 8:02 in the first quarter.
On the next Alabama offensive drive, the Tide needed just five plays to drive 69 yards, capped by Jacobs’ second rushing touchdown of the day, this time from one-yard out. Bulovas’ extra point pushed the lead to 28-0 with 2:28 in the first.
Alabama found the end zone again after junior quarterback Jalen Hurts hooked up with Ruggs III for a 54-yard score. Bulovas’ converted the PAT and the Tide led 35-0 with 13:50 remaining before the half.
Later in the quarter, the Crimson Tide methodically drove down the field, using 10 plays while gaining 70 yards including the last five from Harris who bulldozed his way into the end zone. The Tide led 42-0 with 7:26 to go before halftime after Bulovas’ extra point.
The Crimson Tide pushed the advantage to 49-0 with 1:28 left before the half after Tagovailoa found Waddle for his first career receiving touchdown from 20 yards out. Bulovas’ extra point was true giving the Tide a 49-0 lead at halftime.
Late in the third quarter, Alabama added to its lead when Jones found Waddle running a quick slant across the middle. Waddle then took the ball 94 yards to the end zone giving Jones his first career passing touchdown. The 94-yard scoring strike tied the second-longest in Alabama passing history. Bulovas’ extra point made it 56-0 with 1:30 remaining.
Louisiana got on the board in the fourth quarter, driving 78 yards on six plays for a one-yard touchdown run. The Ragin’ Cajuns added a second tally with 3:58 to go, capping an 11-play, 80-yard drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass for the game’s final points.
Alabama returns to the road an SEC matchup against Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. on Saturday, Oct. 6. Kickoff between the Crimson Tide and Razorbacks is set for 11 a.m. CT with the game airing live on ESPN.