Photo report: Bama bests Blue Raiders

Frequent penalties and several breakdowns in kick coverage marred the effort, but the Alabama players and coaches will take their 39-34 victory over a tenacious Middle Tennessee squad and move forward.

Bama's cheerleaders lead the team onto the field for its season-opener versus Middle Tennessee.

Alabama running back Santonio Beard (34) twists his way into the end zone on a 7-yard scoring run as Middle Tennessee State linebacker Sheldon Durham (47) defends in the first quarter at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2002. Beard finished with 47 yards on nine carries. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Alabama defenders Waine Bacon, left, and Hirchel Bolden (25) stop Middle Tennessee State wide receiver Kenny Wright (1) after a first-down catch in the second quarter. Bolden was credited with two tackles and one pass defended. Bacon had 10 tackles. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Alabama coach Dennis Franchione reacts after the Crimson Tide scored their first touchdown of the season on a run by Santonio Beard in the first quarter against Middle Tennessee State. The victory was Franchione's fifth straight at Alabama. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Alabama quarterback Tyler Watts (14) dives over the tackle of Middle Tennessee State defender Brandon Lynch, right, in the fourth quarter. Alabama won 39-34. Watts rushed for 54 yards on 10 carries, and he also accounted for 236 more through the air. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Middle Tennessee State running back Dwone Hicks (4) shoves aside the tackle of Alabama's Jarret Johnson (96) on a 5-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. Alabama won 39-34. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Middle Tennessee State free safety Will Martin (12) breaks up a pass intended for Alabama's Luke Triandos (84) in the end zone in the first quarter. Luke led all receivers with nine receptions for 85 yards. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Defensive tackle Kenny King gets his shoulder checked by Alabama team physician Les Fowler. King was credited with five tackles in the game.

Offensive linemen Evan Mathis (51), Marico Portis (71), Alonzo Ephraim (58) and Justin Smiley (78) sit on the sideline in the fourth quarter. With the offensive line leading the way, Alabama gained 430 yards and scored 39 points Saturday.

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