Here are notes from Alabama’s 48-14 win over Western Carolina, which made Bama 4-0 against the Catamounts.
Alabama has now won 15 consecutive games in Bryant-Denny Stadium, tied with Baylor for best in the nation for current consecutive wins in a home stadium.
Quarterback Blake Sims became just the third man to pass for 20 or more touchdowns in a season for Alabama. Sims passed for two touchowns giving him 20 passing touchdowns on the season. A.J. McCarron had 30 TD passes in 2012 and 28 last year and Greg McElroy had 20 in 2010.
Sims finished the day 17-of-25 for 222 yards passing and two touchdowns. The 222 yards through the air moved him up to sixth all-time in career passing yards with 2,676. His two scores placed him in a tie for third all-time for touchdowns in a season with 20. In total, Sims accumulated 221 yards of offense (-1 rushing yards), to set him at 2,955 (2,676 pass, 279 rush) for his career which ranks fourth all-time in Alabama annals.
Sims threw his first interception in 158 attempts on the Tide’s third drive against Western Carolina. The 158 consecutive attempts without an interception ranks third all-time at Alabama behind Brodie Croyle (190) and AJ McCarron (291).
Amari Cooper, who went out in the first quarter when he seemed to injure his knee while making a catch, finished with three catches for 46 yards. He now has 194 career pass receptions in his nearly three years with the Crimson Tide. The 194 ties him with D.J. Hall for the most receptions all time at Alabama.
Cooper extended his Bama career record for receiving yards to 3,085.
Sophomore tailback Derrick Henry’s three-yard run to end the first quarter pushed him over the 1,000 yards mark for his career. Henry became the 55th player in Alabama history to eclipse the 1,000 yard career mark. With 92 yards rushing against Western Carolina (all in the first half), Henry has 1,064 career rushing yards.
With his 9-yard touchdown reception from Sims at the end of the second quarter, Henry accounted for three total touchdowns on the day, including two on the ground and one through the air. The three total touchdowns in a game are a career high for Henry.
Freshman tailback Tyren Jones finished with 75 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown. The yardage and carries are both career-highs for Jones, while the touchdown matched his previous career high.
Sophomore wideout Chris Black recorded a team-high and career-high six receptions for 101 yards against Western Carolina. Black matched his single-game best for receptions in a game and his previous high for receiving yardage was 54, both accomplished against Georgia State last season.
With Cam Sims’ four-yard touchdown reception, the freshman wideout recorded the first score of his young career. A highly touted recruit out of Monroe, La., Sims entered the game with four catches for 29 yards through nine games played.
Senior tight end Michael Nysewander recorded his first career receiving touchdown thanks to a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jake Coker. Nysewander entered the evening with one catch for nine yards in five games of action.
Alabama held Western Carolina to minus–8 rushing yards. The last time Alabama held an opponent to negative rushing totals was Sept. 3, 2011, when Alabama limited Kent State to minus-9 rushing yards. It marked the 17th time in Alabama history that the Crimson Tide defense has held an opponent to negative yards rushing.
Western Carolina was held to 213 total yards by the Alabama defense. In Coach Nick Saban’s 105-game tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has limited opponents to under 300 yards of total offense 67 times. UA has held six of 11 opponents below 300 yards in 2014.
The Crimson Tide defense has recorded a quarterback sack in all but one game this season (Florida) and added to its total with two sacks against Western Carolina. Alabama now has 27 sacks on the season for an average of 2.46 per game. UA entered the game tied for 40th nationally and fifth in the SEC in sacks.
The Alabama offense accumulated 612 total yards versus the Catamounts, the sixth time this season that milestone has been reached. Alabama previously recorded 500-plus yards of total offense in five contests, eclipsing the 500-yard mark in its first four games (WVU, FAU, USM, Florida) and a fifth time against Texas A&M.
Alabama accumulated 36 first downs against Western Carolina, an all-time high for a Tide offense. The previous high was 35 in 2013 against Kentucky and also in 2007 against Western Carolina.
With Blake Sims’ 4-yard touchdown pass to freshman Cam Sims, Alabama has now scored in 100 straight games in the first half, the longest active streak in the nation. That score also extended Bama’s school record scoring streak to 180 games.
The Tide is now 83-5 under Saban when leading at the half.
Placekicker Adam Griffith was held out with punter J.K. Scott handling the kickoff duties and Gunnar Raborn, a true freshman walk-on, kicking extra points and field goals. Scott never was given an opportunity to punt in the game.
Also dressed but not playing were tailback T.J. Yeldon and wie receiver DeAndrew White, both of whom had been limited in practice as they recover from minor injuries, and linebacker Denzel Devall, whose leg appeared to be heavily taped.
Honorary captains for the Tide were three Goode brothers, running back Kerry, wide receiver Pierre, and defensive back Chris.
Also on hand was former Bama defensive lineman Marty Lyons, who served as grand Marshall of the Alabama homecoming parade.