Kent State at Alabama

No. 1 Alabama rolls Kent State 48-0, loses Harris to injury

By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer
  •  

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Alabama didn't miss a beat after tailback Damien Harris went down a couple of minutes into the game.

The youngsters made sure of it.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts completed the opening drive with a 20-yard touchdown run and fellow freshman Joshua Jacobs scored his first two career touchdowns in the top-ranked Crimson Tide's 48-0 win Saturday over Kent State.

The Tide (4-0) dominated coach Nick Saban's alma mater from the start while scoring on a kickoff return and even a short touchdown throw to linebacker/short-yardage blocker Mack Wilson - yet another freshman. The only bad news for Alabama was Harris sprained his right ankle on the opening drive and didn't return.

He was hardly needed in this game, when No. 2 quarterback Blake Barnett played much of the way and the emerging Jacobs ran for 97 yards. It amounted to a Saturday afternoon respite for the Tide after a bruising 48-43 comeback win over No. 23 Mississippi.

''The goal going into this game was to play a complete game, start fast, finish, and I think we probably did that as well as we've done all year,'' Saban said.

Hurts was 16-of-24 passing for 164 yards and ran for 54 yards while splitting time with Barnett. He found Wilson for a 1-yard third-quarter score that was supposed to go to tight end O.J. Howard.

''It's his first career (touchdown), so I can't be mad about that,'' Howard said. ''I'm happy somebody caught it.''

He did catch a 34-yarder from Barnett, who first got into the game early in the second quarter. Saban said Harris is ''day to day'' and his status is uncertain against Kentucky. The Kentucky native came into the game ranked fifth in the Southeastern Conference with 327 yards.

''It's just tough to see a player who means so much to our offense go down,'' Howard said.

Alabama did whatever it wanted in the first half, outgaining Kent State 352-53 and amassing a 41-0 lead. The Golden Flashes, who had trailed Penn State 16-13 at halftime in the opener, managed just 13 passing yards in the first three quarters before finally driving in the fourth.

Backup quarterback George Bollas was initially given a touchdown on a fourth-quarter run toward the goal line, but was ruled down at the 1 after a review.

Most of the fans, including all but a handful of students, were long gone by then.

THE TAKEAWAY

Kent State: There's a chance to bounce back in Mid-American Conference play when the playing field is more even. ''There were a lot of times we kind of gave them plays and weren't being very disciplined,'' Kent State coach Paul Hayes said.

Alabama: Dominated in every phase of the game (including a 502-166 advantage in total yards) and got plenty of reserves action, most notably Barnett and Jacobs. Harris's health was the only major issue, though receivers ArDarius Stewart and Robert Foster sat out to rest injured knees. Both are questionable against Kentucky.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Alabama can't be ranked any higher than No. 1 and this game wasn't much of an opportunity to impress poll voters anyway.

SHUTOUT

It was the Tide's 18th shutout under Saban. ''That's what we're looking for every week,'' linebacker Ryan Anderson said. ''We're glad we were able to go out there and do it and glad the second team was able to uphold that standard.''

UP NEXT

Kent State hosts Akron in homecoming game and MAC opener.

Alabama hosts Kentucky in its first SEC home game.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Kent State  (1-3)00000
Alabama #1  (4-0) «21207048
Players of the Game
Crimson Tide

J. Jacobs
Rush 11
Yds 97
Avg 8.8
TD 2
Crimson Tide

J. Hurts
Att 24
Comp 16
Yds 164
TD 1
Scoring Summary
BAMAJalen Hurts 20 yard TD run (Adam Griffith Extra Point)
BAMAJoshua Jacobs 1 yard TD run (Adam Griffith Extra Point)
BAMAJoshua Jacobs 24 yard TD run (Adam Griffith Extra Point)
BAMAAdam Griffith 28 yard field goal
BAMAAdam Griffith 48 yard field goal
BAMAO.J. Howard 34 yard TD pass from Blake Barnett (Adam Griffith Extra Point)
BAMAXavian Marks 75 yard punt return for TD (Andy Pappanastos Extra Point)
BAMAMack Wilson 1 yard TD pass from Jalen Hurts (Andy Pappanastos Extra Point)
 
Team Stats
 KENTSTBAMA
First Downs526
Third Down Efficiency1-136-14
Fourth Down Efficiency1-22-3
Plays-Net Yards46-16680-502
Rushes-Yds30-8246-285
Passing Yds84217
Kick Return Yds570
Punt Return Yds090
Passes7-16-022-34-0
Punts9-4142-98
Fumbles-Lost2-10-0
Penalties-Yds0-02-20
Time of Poss.26:2733:33
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
KENTST: Justin Rankin 6-52, George Bollas 3-26, Myles Washington 6-15, Nick Holley 2-5, Kavious Price 3-3, Will Matthews 3-3, Colin Reardon 1-2, Raekwon James 2-2, Mylik Mitchell 4--26
BAMA: Joshua Jacobs 11-97, Jalen Hurts 7-54, B.J. Emmons 8-51, Derrick Gore 6-45, Bo Scarbrough 3-19, Damien Harris 4-18, Calvin Ridley 1-7, Avery Reid 2-4, Blake Barnett 3--7
PASSING
KENTST: George Bollas 4-8-71-0, Mylik Mitchell 2-7-10-0, Colin Reardon 1-1-3-0
BAMA: Jalen Hurts 16-24-164-0, Blake Barnett 4-7-55-0, Cooper Bateman 2-3--2-0
RECEIVING
KENTST: Will Matthews 2-43, Nick Holley 1-25, Kavious Price 1-7, Raekwon James 1-3, Myles Washington 1-3, Justin Rankin 1-3
BAMA: Cam Sims 4-54, O.J. Howard 3-60, Trevon Diggs 3-23, Derek Kief 3-17, Joshua Jacobs 2-23, B.J. Emmons 1-17, Gehrig Dieter 1-10, Bo Scarbrough 1-6, Calvin Ridley 1-5, Mack Wilson 1-1, Hale Hentges 1-1, Derrick Gore 1-0
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Kent State5th Mid American East2-63-9
Alabama1st SEC West8-014-1

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