Alabama Coaches Recognize Eight

Although many Alabama players played just over half a game Saturday, they played well enough to help the Crimson Tide to a convincing 49-0 victory over cross-state rival Auburn. It was no surprise when the Bama coaching staff had a relatively long list of players to recognize for their performances.

Alabama's offense scored touchdowns the first seven times it got the football (which made it awfully difficult for the Bama punter to have even an outside chance at Player of the Week). After the Tide got it to 49-0, the first offensive group was through for the day in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Nevertheless, even with abbreviated playing time, four Alabama players were recognized by the coaching staff for their play on offense. There were also two men picked on defense and two on special teams.

On offense, the Tide staff named quarterback A.J. McCarron, tailback Eddie Lacy, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and center Barrett Jones. Jones was also selected as the Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week as he had the top grxade – 96 per cent – of any offensive lineman this season. McCarron completed 15-21 passes for 216 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Tailback Eddie Lacy had 18 rushes for 131 yards and became the 16th player in Bama history to each the 1,000-yard rushing mark in a season. Cooper led all receivers with five catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns. It was his third 100-yard receiving game of the season.

The honorees from defense were safety Robert Lester, who receiving honorable mention from the SEC, and lineman Jeoffrey Pagan. Lester led the Tide with five total tackles (four solo) and returned an interception 31 yards to set up a score. His 14 career interceptions are tied for fifth all-time at UA. Pagan had three tackles, 1.5 for loss, and a sack. The defense held Auburn to 163 total yards and just seven first downs. Alabama now has four shutouts on the year, the most since 1979.

On special teams, Landon Collins and Reggie Ragland were selected.

Collins had two tackles on kickoff coverage as a starter on special teams. He also downed a punt inside the 10 and forced a fair catch on another punt. Ragland was credited with three assists on kickoff coverage, including one inside the 20, along with a pair of big hits on kickoff.

Alabama is preparing this week for the SEC Championship Game against Georgia in Atlanta. Both teams are 11-1 overall and 7-1 in SEC play. Bama is ranked second in the nation, Georgia third. The winner will go to Miami for the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame. Kickoff Saturday will be at 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. central time) with CBS televising the game.

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