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Game Recap: Alabama shuts out Kent State

Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 29) sacks Kent State's QB Mylik Mitchell at Bryant-Denny Stadium: Roderick Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Alabama’s defense pitched a shutout in its second home game. Coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide defeated Kent State 48-0, improving to 4-0 on the season. Jalen Hurts completed 60 percent of his passes for a third straight week, connecting on 16 of 24 attempts (66.7 percent) for 164 yards and a touchdown. He started the 48-point route in the first quarter, breaking containment for a 20-yard touchdown run.

True freshman Joshua Jacobs had a breakout performance, due to Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough sustaining injuries. He registered a game-high 97 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 11 carries.

Both of his scores came in the first quarter, aiding the Tide to a 41-0 lead at halftime.

Cam Sims chimed in with a solid game, accounting for 54 yards receiving on four catches. Tight end O.J. Howard had three receptions for 60 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown grab in the second quarter.

Xavian Marks ended the first half with a 75-yard punt return touchdown. He totaled 90 yards on four returns (22.5 average). Trevon Diggs—another player who filled in for ArDarius Stewart—finished third on the team in receptions (three) for 21 yards.

Alabama’s offensive line blocked for 25 first downs and 469 total yards. It was penalized twice against the Golden Flashes (-20); a vast improvement from 21 combined fouls against Western Kentucky and Ole Miss.

Reuben Foster led the Tide’s defense with seven total tackles.

Keith Holcombe collected six stops, while safety Laurence Jones had four tackles. Alabama had six players to record three tackles, including 1.5 sacks from cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick. Unlike its first home game, Saban took the podium with a pleasant mood after Alabama’s contest against the Golden Flashes.

His opening statement noted how important it was for the Tide to play a complete game.

“The goal was to start fast and the players were focused,” Saban said.

“We had three straight scoring drives right off the bat. First play against the defense, we didn’t execute exactly right and they made a big play but we got a stop.  I’m very pleased that we were able to play a lot of players. Maybe there were a few players that we wished we could have played as well, but overall, I was pretty pleased with the way we played.”

The Tide held Kent State to 166 total yards and five first downs. Alabama will return to Bryant-Denny Stadium next week at 6:00 p.m. (CT) for its homecoming match-up against Kentucky.

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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