When Jalen Hurts started at quarterback for Alabama against Western Kentucky Saturday, he became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Bama since Vince Sutton in 1984. Sutton started his first game against Southwestrern Louisiana, and also started games against Vanderbilt, Georgia, Penn State, and Tennessee for Coach Ray Perkins.
Hurts probably earned the start by his performance a week earlier in Alabama’s win over Southern Cal, and he didn’t hurt himself with Saturday’s performance, completing 23 of 36 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns.
Hurts broke the Alabama record for most passing yards in a starting debut. Brodie Croyle had passed for 285 yards in his first start, against Arkansas on Sept. 28, 2002. Hurts also passed the previous freshman starter record of 167 yards, set by Sutton against Tennessee on Oct. 20, 1984.
Hurts connected on three passes of 40 yards or longer in the 38-10 win against Western Kentucky in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday.
Here are notes from Alabama’s 38-10 win over Western Kentucky in Saturday’s home opener in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday.
Sophomore Calvin Ridley caught nine passes for 129 yards and one touchdown against WKU. That is his third best receiving yards total in his 17 games at Alabama. His nine receptions equaled his career best. Against Arkansas last year he had nine catches for 140 yards and in last year’s Cotton Bowl (College Football Playoff semifinal game) against Michigan State he had 138 yards and a career high two touchdowns.
Alphonse Taylor made appearance at right guard late in first quarter. Taylor had been the starter at right guard in all 15 games last year, but had been demoted last spring and suspended for the Tide’s first game last week. He replaced Ross Pierschbacher and played most of the game at right guard.
Alabama continued its nation’s best current streak of scoring in the first half against WKU. That mark is now at 120 consecutive games. The last time Alabama failed to score in the first half was Sept. 29, 2007, in Jacksonville, Fla., when Bama and Florida State were scoreless at intermission. The Seminoles won the game, 21-14.
Bama’s school record of scoring in consecutive games continues and reached 200 with the points against WKU.
The Tide is 96-6 under Coach Nick Saban when leading at the half. It was 17-3 for Bama at halftime Saturday.
Eddie Jackson’s 55-yard interception return for a touchdown was the 48th non-offensive touchdown scored by Alabama players in the Nick Saban Era. It is the second this year with Marlon Humphrey having returned an interception for a TD against USC last week. It is the first time since 2008 Bama has scored on interception returns in consecutive games.
Jackson now has three interceptions returned for touchdowns. Last year he had Pick Six plays against both Georgia and Texas A&M, both on the road.
Honorary captains for Alabama were former tight ends Brad Smelley and Chris Underwood.
Captains for Bama were defensive end Jonathan Allen, offensive tackle Cam Robinson, and linebacker Reuben Foster.
Paid attendance in Bryant-Denny Stadium was 101,821, a sellout, but the stadium was not completely full.