Tide Has Easy Time With Georgia State
Alabama scored on offense, defense, and special teams and had most of the starters out of the game before halftime. Punter Cody Mandell didn't get to play until Georgia State finally stopped the Tide's sixth tailback midway through the fourth quarter.
It was a night to have purchased a program. There were a number seeing action for Bama who do not usually play.
Alabama, ranked 10th in the nation, improved its record to 9-2. Georgia State, a first-year program, finished its season at 6-5.
Alabama concludes regular season play next Friday, November 26, hosting second ranked and undefeated Auburn. Kickoff will be at 1:30 p.m. CST with television coverage by CBS.
The game was the mismatch that would be expected from the 2009 national championship team playing against the first year program of former Bama Coach Bill Curry. Statistics reflected the disparity. Alabama had 24 first downs, Georgia State 7. Bama rushed 45 times for 262 yards, the Panthers had 32 rushes for 91 yards. The Tide completed 19 of 22 passes with no interceptions for 216 yards, Georgia State 5-17 with four interceptions for 74 yards (55 of them on the Panthers' first offensive play). That made for total offense: Alabama 478, Georgia State 165.
Alabama had a quick, though methodical, game-opening drive that went 67 yards in eight plays. Greg McElroy completed five passes in five attempts, three of them to Julio Jones, including an eight-yard touchdown pass as Bama went 67 yards in eight plays for a quick 7-0 lead. Jeremy Shelley kicked the extra point. McElroy's completions to Jones gained 29 yards. Jones also had one run for seven yards and McElroy had completions of 16 yards to Mark Ingram and seven yards to Preston Dial in the march.
McElroy finished with an Alabama accuracy record, 12 completions in 13 attempts, for 159 yards and two touchdowns. His back-up, A.J. McCarron, completed 7-9 for 57 yards and one touchdown. Julio Jones had seven receptions for 86 yards. Mark Ingram rushed 12 times for 86 yards and Eddie Lacy had 13 carries for 81 yards.
Georgia State had a big pass play to get into Alabama territory, but on a third-and-long Mark Barron intercepted for the Tide at the Bama 29. It took just 10 plays for Alabama to go 71 yards for the second touchdown of the game and a 14-0 lead. Ingram scored from a yard out after he had gained 45 yards in six runs and had one long run called back by penalty. McElroy completed a 21-yard pass to Darius Hanks in the drive.
McElroy had completed eight consecutive passes when back-up tailback Eddie Lacy dropped a ball, breaking the string. McElroy hit his next pass, but it wasn't enough for a first down. The Tide planned a 49-yard field goal attempt by Cade Foster, and Foster made it, but before he kicked a delay of game penalty pushed it back to a 54-yard effort. This one was long enough, but wide left.
No matter. Bama would score quickly after the punt. With Georgia State facing a third-and-six at the Panthers 41, Bama linebacker C.J. Mosley picked off a pass by Drew Little and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown. Bama had a 21-0 lead less than a minute into the second quarter.
Alabama had a lightning-quick touchdown drive to make it 28-0 with over 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter, The drive started from the Tide 28 with a 32-yard pass to Julio. Ingram ran for 27 and three, and then McElroy connected with Jones, who made a leaping catch for a 10-yard touchdown play.
Alabama special teams got into the scoring when Georgia State was forced to punt from its 37. Chavis Williams came through to block the punt and Brandon Gibson picked it up at the 22 and raced to the end zone. With 7:16 to play in the first half, Bama had a 35-0 lead.
The special teams came right back with a big play. Cade Foster's kickoff was returned to the Georgia State 35, where Foster hit the return man and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Gibson. From there Bama marched to the end zone in four plays. McElroy completed a pass to Maze for 20 yards to the 15, and then McElroy departed the game in favor of A.J. McCarron. McCarron handed off to Lacy on three conseutive plays, gains of two, 10 and three yards for a touchdown. It was 42-0 with 5:13 to play.
Georgia State got a highlight moment on the ensuing kickoff. Albert Wilson took the kickoff at the three and went down the Alabama sideline for a 97-yard touchdown return. Iain Vance, a former Bama walk-on, kicked the extra point for Georgia State with 5:02 to play in the first half. Bama's lead was down to 42-7.
Alabama drove to a first and goal in the final seconds of the first half with Bama's second offense in the game, but McCarron missed on a couple of passes and a last-play, 28-yard field goal try by Shelley hit the upright and was no good.
Alabama's defense, which leads the nation in interceptions, set up touchdowns on Georgia State's first two possessions with picks.
DeMarcus Milliner intercepted a Georgia State pass at the Georgia State 34 moments into the second half and the second offense turned it into a touchdown in seven plays. Eddie Lacy had an 18-yard run on a fourth-and-one to set the Tide up at the seven, and three plays later McCarron connected with tight end Chris Underwood on a seven-yard touchdown to give Alabama a 49-7 lead.
Alabama's second defense was in on Georgia State's second possession and Chris Jordan turned in an interception. Jordan picked it off at the 33 and returned it 14 yards to the Panthers 19. Demetrius Goode went 15 yards to a first and goal at the four and then took it in on his third run from there. Cade Foster kicked the extra point. Alabama had a 56-7 lead with 6:13 remaining in the third quarter.
Ten seconds into the fourth quarter, Bama had increased the lead to 63-7. Jalston Fowler, the fourth tailback used in the game (and usual number two man Trent Richardson didn't play) went over right tackle for a 36-yard touchdown and Foster kicked another extra point. The 50-yard drive took three plays and 1:11 and finished the scoring.
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