Tide Coaches Pick Dandy Half Dozen
Alabama defeated Michigan 41-14 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas to kick off the season Saturday night. Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban said that a number of men performed well, including some who were not recognized by the coaching staff as the most outstanding, the Players of the Week.
A half dozen were singled out for their performances in the romp over the nation's eighth-ranked team.
Senior tight end Michael Williams and freshman tailback T.J. Yeldon were named players of the week on offense. Junior cornerback Dee Milliner and junior linebacker C.J. Mosley represented the defense. On special teams, junior punter Cody Mandell and sophomore wide receiver DeAndrew White were selected.
Milliner was also recognized as the national defensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Foundation. He was the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the week.
Yeldon was selected by the SEC as one of the freshmen of the week.
Williams scored the first touchdown of the game on a two-yard reception. That was his only catch on the night, but he was also credited by the staff for his blocking as he helped clear the way for Alabama to rush for 232 total yards. Yeldon became the first true freshman in school history to rush for 100 or more yards in his first career game. He had 111 yards on 11 carries with one touchdown. His long run was 40 yards. Hee also added a pass reception for a gain of 26 yards.
Milliner registered five tackles with a career-high four pass break-ups and one interception. His 35-yard interception return to the Michigan 17 set up Alabama's third score and pushed the lead to 21-0 in the first quarter. Milliner added insult to injury on the play by running over Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, who had thrown the interception. Mosley had a team-high seven tackles and returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. That marked the third pick for a score in his career, which tied the school record held by Antonio Langham (1990-93).
Although he had just four punts, Mandell had an impressive average of 47 yards in the win over the Wolverines. Mandell had a long of 59 and dropped two punts inside the 20. Michigan was able to return only one of the four punts for a gain of three yards. White was credited for his outstanding play on the punt and kickoff coverage units. White had a key tackle on kickoff and forced a pair of fair catches on punt coverage. He also made a big play at wide receiver, hauling in a 51-yard catch for a score to give the Crimson Tide a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
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