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First half analysis: Alabama vs. Kent State

Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough (No. 9) in warm-ups prior to game vs. Kent State: Roderick Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Alabama coach Nick Saban not letting up on his Alma mater, as the Crimson Tide took a 41-0 lead against Kent State into halftime. Saban played both Jalen Hurts and Blake Barnett in the first half, with Barnett completing a 34-yard pass to O.J. Howard for a touchdown in the second quarter. Hurts completed 10 of 17 passes for 121 yards, while recording a 21-yard touchdown run.

True freshman running back Joshua Jacobs impressed fans with his poise, speed and balance, totaling 86 yards rushing and two touchdowns on eight carries. He’s receiving meaningful action, due to sophomores Damien Harris (knee) and Bo Scarbrough sustaining injuries in the first half.

Wide receiver Cam Sims got the nod to start in place of ArDarius Stewart (knee). He’s collected four passes for 54 yards, including a huge grab for 31 yards. Tight end O.J. Howard leads the Tide in receiving yards (60) on three catches, while Jacobs has 23 yards receiving on two catches.

Receiver Xavian Marks added the last points of the first half; a 75-yard punt return touchdown.

Defensively, Reuben Foster leads Alabama in tackles with six. Defensive backs Ronnie Harrison and Minkah Fitzpatrick (1.5 sacks, 1.5 TFLs) each have three tackles apiece. Tim Williams has two quarterback pressures and half a sack. Ryan Anderson chimes in with half a sack too.

Damien Harris, Calvin Ridley, Marlon Humphrey and Bo Scarbrough all got banged up in the first half; however, three of these four returned to action. (Harris carted off the field).

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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