Recapping No. 2 Alabama vs. Middle Tennessee State
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A crowd of 98,568 fans filled Bryant-Denny Stadium for Alabama’s home opener against Middle Tennessee State. Alabama’s senior quarterback Jacob Coker was sharp against Wisconsin, but looked out of sync at times against the Blue Raiders. He completed 15 of 26 pass attempts for 214 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Coker’s touchdown pass came with 12:28 remaining in the first quarter on a 19-yard completion to Robert Foster.
Alabama’s run game picked up where it left off, as junior running back Derrick Henry totaled 96 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry and scored on runs of two, one and 28 yards. Senior Kenyan Drake accounted for 40 rushing yards, 91 receiving yards and a touchdown. His touchdown came in the third quarter on a 14-yard reception from redshirt sophomore quarterback Cooper Bateman.
Junior tight end O.J. Howard made himself available Saturday with four catches for 68 yards, while Foster brought in four passes for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Both Coker and Bateman each had a turnover against Middle Tennessee State.
Place kicker Cody Clark and wide receiver Rod Ducksworth had the lone scores for the Blue Raiders. Clark nailed a 20-yard field goal in the second quarter and Ducksworth caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Austin Grammer in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, Alabama was led by senior inside linebacker Reggie Ragland with nine total tackles. Outside linebacker Denzel Devall has seven tackles, while Reuben Foster finished third with six total stops. Defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson collected five tackles. Alabama forced four turnovers, including an interception from Cyrus Jones.
Alabama defeated Middle Tennessee State 37-10, improving to 2-0 on the season.
It will host Ole Miss at Bryant-Denny Stadium next week.
Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine and SB Nation. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.