The anticipation was almost too much to bear. Actually, we had almost forgotten that the Southeastern Conference names various players of the week in football. Those usually come in Monday morning, but we had to wait until Tuesday so Ole Miss could get its loss to FSU out of the way.
Following Bama’s 52-6 romp over Southern Cal in Arlington, Texas, Saturday night, it was no surprise that Alabama players earned some recognition.
Alabama senior end Jonathan Allen was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, and offensive tackle Jonah Williams was selected conference Freshman of the Week, the league office announced on Tuesday. The conference award is the second of Allen’s career and, of course, the first for Williams.
Allen led an Alabama defense that limited No. 20 USC to just 194 yards of offense and six points in the Crimson Tide’s 52-6 win. The six points surrendered last Saturday marked the seventh time in the last two seasons that Alabama limited an opponent to fewer than 10 points in a game.
The senior leader recorded a team-high two sacks for a loss of 15 yards along with four solo tackles and two pass break-ups and was a disruptive force throughout the game.
Allen’s play up front helped the Tide limit a Trojan rushing attack that averaged more than 180 yards a game in 2015 to just 64 yards on 30 carries, an average of just 2.1 yards per attempt. The defense forced the Trojans into nine three-and-outs and one four-and-out in 16 possessions. Five of USC’s possessions resulted in zero or negative yardage.
Williams made his collegiate debut as Alabama’s starting right tackle and was a vital component on a unit that rolled up 465 yards in total offense and averaged 5.4 yards per attempt on the ground.
The Tide offensive line played a big part in career nights from running back Damien Harris and receiver ArDarius Stewart as Alabama topped the 50-point mark in a season opener for the first time since 2007.
The Tide hosts Western Kentucky in its home opener at Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CDT on ESPN2.