Bama Has 32nd 10-Win Season
Alabama has won 10 or more games for five consecutive seasons under Coach Nick Saban. It is the first five-season stretch of 10-win seasons since 1971-75.
When A.J. McCarron completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Christion Jones in the second quarter against Western Carolina, it was his 21st touchdown pass of the year, a new Alabama record. McCarron and Greg McElroy (2010) had shared the record at 20 touchdown passes in a season.
McCarron now has 40 career touchdown passes, third best in Bama history. John Parker Wilson (2005-08) had 47 and Brodie Croyle (2002-05) had 41. McCarron had been tied with McElroy at 39.
Eddie Lacy scored three rushing touchdowns in the first half, the third time this season he has accomplished the feat of three rushing touchdowns in a game.
Lacy scored the first touchdown of the game, and that increased Alabama's school record of scoring in games to 153.
Alabama has scored at least one rushing touchdown in all but one game this season. The Tide has scored two or more rushing touchdowns in eight games this year, including the six games in a row.
When the Tide had a 42-0 halftime lead against Western Carolina, it was reasonably sure Bama would add to its record of wins when leading at the half under Saban. Alabama is 59-3 when leading at the half.
The first half shutout was the fifth this year, and it was the third game this year that Alabama's defense has kept the opponent scoreless. Bama defeated Western Kentucky 35-0 and Arkansas 52-0. Bama teams under Saban have recorded nine shutouts.
It was the 39th time under Saban that Alabama has held an opponent to undert 10 points.
This was Bama's 18th consecutive victory over a non-conference opponent.
Speaking of 52, this was Alabama's third meeting against Western Carolina, and by scoring 49 points Bama lowered its average points per game against the Catamounts. Bama had a 52-0 win in 2004 and a 52-6 win in 2007. (The 2007 win was vacated by NCAA decree.)
For the third time this season, Alabama has scored 21 points in the first quarter. Bama previously had 21-0 first quarter leads on Michigan and Missouri. Alabama has outscored its opponents 125-26 in first quarters this season.
Alabama's 42 first half points were the most this season in a half and the most since the Tide put 42 on Georgia State in the first half in 2010.
Freshman cornerback Geno Smith had his first start of the season against Western Carolina. John Fulton, who played very well at cornerback a week earlier, did not play because of a turf toe injury. Fulton was on the sidelind in sweatclothes.
By agreement of both teams, with Bama in command early, the clock continued to run after incomplete passes throughout the second half.
There were no incomplete passes in the first quarter as Bama was 4-4 and the Catamounts were 3-3. Alabama's first incompletion came in the third quarter when back-up quarterback Blake Sims missed on a pass.
Looking ahead to next year when Bama loses at least two offensive linemen, the second offensive line was Ryan Kelly at center, Chad Lindsey at left guard, Kellen Williams at left tackle, Arie Kouandjio at right guard, and Austin Shepherd at right tackle.
Freshman back-up tailback Kenyan Drake did not dress for the game because of a violation of team rules.
The 1962 Alabama football team was recognized in pre-game ceremonies with the Orange Bowl presenting a 50-year commemorative Orange Bowl football to captains Jimmy Sharpe and Lee Roy Jordan and Mal Moore, who was back-up quarterback to Joe Namath on that team. The Tide defeated Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl by a 17-0 score before a crowd that included President John F. Kennedy. Bama finished 10-1 and ranked fifth in the nation.
Honorary captains were former Tide placekickers Van Tiffin, his son Leigh Tiffin, and Michael Proctor.
Alabama captains were placekicker Jeremy Shelley, linebacker C.J. Mosley, and tailback Eddie Lacy.
Although all tickets in 101,126-capacity Bryant-Denny Stadium were sold, there were several thousand empty seats for the game.
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