Darby Slowed

Kenneth Darby was the center of everyone's attention Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium – including the Hawaii defense. He was on the cover of the game program, and a game captain in the Tide's season-opening 25-17 win over Hawaii, needing 111 yards to reach 2,500 for his career.

Even 90 yards would have put Kenneth Darby on pace to become Alabama's all-time leading rusher by the end of the regular season. Instead Darby had one of his worst games ever, totaling only 25 yards on 16 carries.

Darby stumbled on his second carry trying to avoid defenders, and walked back to the huddle with a slight limp after the nine-yard run. That might have been what threw him off the rest of the night.

I just caught a little hip pointer at the beginning of the game,"he said, "but I'm alright. I took a little blow to the hip some time in the first quarter."

He said he was pleased with the win and the way the offense played as a whole, but his demeanor was quiet, and a little angry with himself.

"I don't know what happened man. The only thing I can say is I have to make up for it next week,"he said. "I will make up for it next week."

There were plenty of factors working against Darby: Hawaii's unorthodox style, the hip and the fact that he was being keyed on by all of the Warrior defenders.

"We knew we had to stop the run," Hawaii Coach June Jones said, "and I feel like we did a good job defending the run. We played hard up front.

Tide Head Coach Mike Shula said Darby was physically fine during the game.

"We were just a little off in our running game," Shula said. "You start fall and you go against first team, and it's a different style, and then you go against the ‘look' (scout) teams with what they're running; but you get out here and there are live bullets coming at you with a different style for the first time."

Darby said after the game that he didn't want to know what his rushing total was. He still needs only to average 96 yards a game to become the career rushing leader by the end of the year, and he plans on getting there.

"I'm alright," he said. "I guess this little hip injury thing kind of got to me and took me out of my game. But I'm alright physically. I'm going to be alright tomorrow. Whatever happened tonight is not going to happen again throughout the season."

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