New Blood Proves Helpful To Alabama

One would have to say that a little new blood was helpful to the Alabama cause in the Crimson Tide’s 34-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday.

Alabama first time starters were freshman wide receiver Calvin Ridley and fifth-year senior receiver Richard Mullaney. Mullaney has been making his contributions. On Saturday, Ridley made his first touchdown reception, taking a short pass from Jacob Coker and dashing the rest of the way on the 15-yard play.

Another true freshman who made an impact was safety Ronnie Harrison, who had one of two interceptions for the Tide. Dalvin Tomlinson tipped a ball that Harrison grabbed at the Monroe 31 and ran down to the 19. Two plays later quarterback Jacob Coker completed a 16-yard pass to Ardarius Stewart for the final points of the game.

Freshman defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick had a team-leading seven tackles (five primary). Six of his stops came in the first half. Fitzpatrick had five tackles in his first college game against Wisconsin.

The Alabama defense set a season high with six sacks against ULM. Alabama was led in sacks by junior nose tackle A’Shawn Robinson, who was in on two.

With his first quarter touchdown, Derrick Henry has now recorded at least one rushing touchdown in each of his last nine Alabama games.

It was a bounceback game for Alabama after the Crimson Tide had lost to Ole Miss a week earlier in Bryant-Denny Stadium by a 33-27 score. That six-point loss broke a 17-game winning streak for Bama on its home field. Now the streak is 1. Alabama also has been very successful in September games. Alabama is 30-1 in September since 2008. Including games in August, the record is 33-1 until getting into October. Again, that one loss came last week to Mississippi.

Although about the only ones making anything of it were television analysts, the win also means that Alabama now has an on-the-field record of 2-1 against ULM. The Warhawks were 21-14 winners over Bama in 2007, Alabama Coach Nick Saban’s first year with the Tide.

Saban has suffered only 14 regular season losses in his eight-plus years at Alabama. Since 2008, Alabama is 6-0 in regular season games following a regular season loss the previous game. In those six games, Bama has outscored the opposition by bym 174-40 and has allowed no team more than 13 points.

Alabama had a 14-0 score at halftime Saturday. That’s usually a good sign. Alabama is 87-6 under Saban when leading at the half.

With the Tide’s first quarter touchdown by Derrick Henry, Alabama has now scored in the first half of 107 consecutive games, the longest streak in the nation. The last time UA failed to score in the first half was on Sept. 29, 2007, when Bama and Florida State went to intermission in a scoreless tie. The Seminoles won that game, but Alabama’s record in the 107-game streak since is 91-16.

Alabama also improved its record of scoring in 187 consecutive games, the longest streak in program history.

Since the start of the 2009 season, no defense in the nation has allowed fewer touchdowns than the Crimson Tide. Saturday’s shutout of ULM helped solidify that mark. Alabama has allowed only 126 touchdowns over the last 84 games. The shutout was the 15th shutout victory by Bama in the Saban era. The Tide has held opponents to 10 points or fewer 53 times under Saban.

Bama held ULM to only 92 yards of total offense. In the last 98 games – since the start of the 2008 season – the Tide defense has held opposing offenses to under 200 yards 33 times.

Captains for Alabama were Denzel Devall, Dalvin Tomlinson, and O.J. Howard.

Honorary captains were members of the 1975 team, who were on hand to be honored for a 40th year reunion. The captains were Colenzo Hubbard and Leroy Cook.

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