A year from now, not many are going to remember Alabama’s 48-0 win over Kent State. Nick Saban will, though, and not because he is an alumnus of Kent State. It will be because he said his team played a “complete game” for the first time this season.
The was reflected in the Alabama coaching staff recognizing nine players following the shutout win over Kent State last Saturday.
Player of the Week honors go to O.J. Howard, Joshua Jacobs, and Jonah Williams on offense; Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison, and Keith Holcombe on defense; and Adam Griffith, Xavian Marks, and JK Scott on special teams.
Howard had three catches for a team-high 60 yards and his first touchdown of the season. He also helped block for Jacobs’s career afternoon that saw the freshman tailback rush for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 11 carries. Jacobs also caught a pair of passes for 23 yards. His rushes converted a first down or touchdown six times and seven of his 13 touches gained nine yards or more, including a long rush of 24 yards and a long reception of 15. Williams anchored the Tide line, posting a team-high grade of 86 per cent with a team-leading four knockdown blocks. He did not allow a sack, commit a penalty, or surrender a quarterback pressure. Tide backs accumulated 285 yards and three touchdowns rushing.
Fitzpatrick led Alabama with 1 1/2 sacks for minus 13 yards as part of his three total tackles. Harrison also had three tackles from the secondary and recovered a fumble on Kent State’s first offensive drive of the second quarter. Holcombe finished with a career-high six tackles to rank second on the team and helped limit the Golden Flashes to only 82 yards rushing.
Griffith was a perfect 4-for-4 on extra-point attempts and added field goals of 28 and 48 yards. He also kicked off six times for 382 yards for an average of 63.7 yards per kick and totaled three touchbacks. Scott was forced to punt only two times, but took advantage of his opportunities, totaling 98 yards on the two boots with a long of 53 to average 49 yards per punt. Marks, in his first action of the season at punt returner, went in for six from 75 yards out to record his first career punt return for a touchdown. He finished the day with four punt returns for 90 yards with a long of 75.