Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went 26-of-31 with 336 yards and four scores through the air
ATLANTA – A stout defense and stellar quarterback play propelled the No. 2 Alabama football team to a 42-3 win over Duke in the 2019 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium Saturday. The Crimson Tide improved to 1-0 to start the season and 6-0 all-time in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After a scoreless opening quarter, the Tide put together a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive for its first points of the 2019 season. Junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found redshirt junior Miller Forristall for the tight end’s first career touchdown reception from 27 yards out to put the Tide on top 7-0 with 10:02 to go before halftime.
- On its next offensive possession, the Crimson Tide found the end zone once again after junior running back Brian Robinson Jr. scored from one yard out to cap a seven-play, 76-yard drive and make it 14-0 with just over five minutes remaining in the half.
- The Blue Devils hit a 30-yard field goal with seconds left before the break to make it 14-3 heading into halftime.
- Following a fourth-down stop, the Alabama offense regained possession of the ball at its own 35-yard line and put together another touchdown drive. Tagovailoa threw his second touchdown of the day, connecting with redshirt sophomore tight end Major Tennison from one yard out for Tennison’s first career TD grab to finish a nine-play 65-yard effort. Alabama led 21-3 with 8:34 in the third.
- On the next play from scrimmage, the Tide’s swarming defense forced its first turnover of the game when sophomore defensive back Patrick Surtain II ripped the ball out of the Duke receiver’s hands and senior cornerback Trevon Diggs recovering the fumble at the Duke 28-yard line. Three plays later, Tagovailoa recorded his third TD pass of the game, hooking up with junior wideout DeVonta Smith for an eight-yard strike to pad the UA lead to 28-3.
- The Tide scored once again on its next offensive possession, rumbling 90 yards in nine plays finished off by a Tagovailoa pass to junior wide receiver Jerry Jeudy who scampered 21 yards for the score. The Tide went up 35-3 with 1:36 left in the third quarter.
- Alabama continued to pour on the points in the fourth quarter when redshirt freshman running back Jerome Ford galloped 37 yards for the first score of his young career. The Crimson Tide led 42-3 with 4:51 on the clock and sealed the victory with an interception by freshman defensive back Jordan Battle in the final minute of the game.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
- Tagovailoa ended the game with a career high in completions after going 26-of-31 for 336 yards and four touchdowns. The All-American QB finished with a near-perfect 217.5 quarterback rating.
- Jeudy also had a career day with the most receptions in his time at UA after tallying 10 catches for 137 yards and a score.
- On defense, Diggs came up with two big plays after recovering a fumble and recording the second interception in his four-year career.
- Junior safety Xavier McKinney led the Tide with a career-high eight tackles in the win.
- For the game, Alabama outgained Duke 512-204 including 367-97 through the air.
- UA finished with 30 first downs compared to Duke’s 11.
- The Tide dominated the time of possession, controlling the ball for 36:37 of the game.
- Alabama won the turnover battle, 3-1.
- Alabama returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 7, with its home opener against New Mexico State at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff between the Crimson Tide and Aggies is set for 3 p.m. CT with the game airing live on SEC Network.