Nov 26, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama wide receiver Traeshon Holden (11) breaks away from Auburn defenders including Auburn safety Zion Puckett (10) and Auburn defensive lineman Marcus Harris (50) on his way to a touchdown at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 Alabama rolls past Auburn behind Bryce Young’s 4 TDs

Behind four touchdowns from quarterback Bryce Young, host No. 7 Alabama kept its College Football Playoff hopes alive with a 49-27 win over rival Auburn on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Young passed for 343 yards and threw three touchdowns in the first half. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner also added 48 yards and a score on the ground in the opening half.

Jermaine Burton, Ja’Corey Brooks and Traeshon Holden had touchdown receptions for the Crimson Tide (10-2). Jahmyr Gibbs had a team-high 76 yards rushing and a score. Roydell Williams also added a scoring run. Jase McClellan had a rushing and receiving score.

Quarterback Robby Ashford had a touchdown pass to Ja’Varrius Johnson and tallied 121 yards and two rushing scores for the Tigers. Tailback Jarquez Hunter recorded a team-high 134 rushing yards.

It was the first time in Auburn (5-7) history that two runners rushed for a 100 yards or more in three consecutive games.

The Tigers jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a 24-yard touchdown run by Ashford. But Alabama responded when Young scored on a 5-yard run with 6:25 to go in the opening quarter. A 52-yard reception by Burton sparked the Crimson Tide’s response.

Alabama grabbed a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter when Young connected with McClellan on a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Following a fumble by Hunter in Auburn territory, Alabama went up 21-7 one play into the second quarter when Williams found the end zone from 5 yards out.

The Tigers cut the lead to 21-14 when Ashford connected with Johnson in the corner of the end zone on a beautifully thrown 20-yard wheel route.

But Alabama answered with an eight-play, 92-yard scoring drive, which was capped by a 33-yard touchdown reception by Brooks.

A 27-yard touchdown reception by Holden increased the Crimson Tide’s lead to 35-14 with less than a minute to go until halftime following a muffed punt by Keionte Scott.

After a 2-yard scoring run by McClellan on Alabama’s first drive to open the third quarter, Auburn responded with a seven-play, 75-yard drive to trim the lead to 42-21.

Two fourth quarter field goals by Auburn kicker Alex McPherson and a 24-yard run by Gibbs capped the scoring.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2022; Oxford, Mississippi, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban looks onto the field in the fourth quarter against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Alabama won 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8 Alabama cruises to 34-0 shutout over Austin Peay

With their backfield short-handed, Jase McClellan ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns to lead the host Alabama Crimson Tide to a 34-0 victory over Austin Peay on Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Crimson Tide (9-2), ranked No. 8 in the latest College Football Playoff standings, took care of business a week before their annual Iron Bowl matchup with rival Auburn as they hope to sneak into the playoffs if they can get some help over the final two weeks.

Austin Peay (7-4) will now wait to see if it can earn a spot in the upcoming Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. Quarterback Matt DiLiello completed 20 of 32 passes for 147 yards, but was intercepted twice — first by Kool-Aid McKinstry and later by Brian Branch.

Drae McCray caught 12 passes for 92 yards to lead the Governors’ offense.

Alabama’s offense was without starting running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who sat out with an ankle injury.

It didn’t keep them from a strong start as quarterback Bryce Young directed the Tide on a 13-play, 92-yard drive to open the game, which was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by McClellan.

The Crimson Tide sputtered a bit after that both on offense and special teams for part of the first half.

A muffed punt by Alabama when the ball hit Kendrick Law on the helmet allowing the Governors to recover at the Crimson Tide 36. But Alabama’s defense stopped Austin Peay on downs inside the 5.

The Governors failed to capitalize on a Tide turnover on their ensuing possession after kicker Maddux Trujillo missed wide left on a 25-yard field goal.

Alabama began to break it open at that point as Young connected with Jermaine Burton for a 4-yard touchdown pass.

Young completed 18 of 24 passes for 221 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. His second scoring toss also went to Burton from 10 yards out with 13:20 left in the fourth quarter. Burton caught all seven of his targets for 128 yards.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2022; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) passes the ball during warm up prior to the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama survives Ole Miss to return to win column

Will Reichard kicked two of his three field goals in the fourth quarter, Alabama’s defense stopped Ole Miss in the red zone late, and the No. 9 Crimson Tide held on for a 30-24 victory over the No. 11 Rebels in Oxford, Mississippi, on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide (8-2, 5-2 SEC) trailed 10-0 but fought back behind Bryce Young’s touchdowns to Cameron Latu, Jermaine Burton and Ja’Corey Brooks.

Ole Miss drove to the Alabama 14-yard-line, but on 4th-and-16 from the 20, defensive back Brian Branch broke up a pass in the end zone intended for Jonathan Mingo to seal the win with 46 seconds left.

The victory delivered the SEC West crown to LSU, which defeated Alabama and Ole Miss to earn a trip to Atlanta for the conference championship game.

Young was 21 of 33 for 209 yards and crafted his first 3-TD game since Sept. 24 against Vanderbilt when he tossed four. Jase McClellan rushed for 84 yards on 19 carries.

Jaxson Dart was 18 of 31 for 212 yards with a TD to Mingo. Malik Heath caught six passes for 123 yards, while Quinshon Judkins ran for 135 yards on 25 carries and tallied twice, giving him a school-record 15 rushing TDs in a season.

After Judkins shoved his way in for a score in the first quarter, the Rebels’ offense moved 32 yards to set up Jonathan Cruz’s 22-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead.

Young put the Crimson Tide on the board at 8:55 by firing a 19-yard strike to Burton. But Otis Reese’s fumble recovery at midfield led to another Ole Miss score, as Judkins — from the wildcat formation — punched it in from a yard out for a 17-7 lead.

Alabama’s Terrion Arnold recovered a fumble at the Rebels 23, and Young found Latu for an 8-yard score with eight seconds left for a 17-14 Ole Miss halftime lead.

After Reichard tied it with a 39-yard field goal, Dart zipped a 3-yard ball to Mingo for a 24-17 advantage at 7:28. Young rolled out and tossed a 5-yarder to Brooks to knot the contest at 24 after three quarters.

Reichard connected again, from 23 yards, the visitors’ first lead with 11:19 left and added another from 49.

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Decamerion Richardson (3) brings down Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver JoJo Earle (10) during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Alabama bounces back from loss, trounces No. 24 Mississippi St.

Bryce Young threw two touchdown passes, Alabama’s defense was dominant, and the No. 6 Crimson Tide rebounded from its first loss with a 30-6 pounding of No. 24 Mississippi State on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Young completed 21 of 35 passes for 249 yards, with scoring tosses to JoJo Earle and Traeshon Holden. Jahmyr Gibbs ran for a score for Alabama (7-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference).

The defense bounced back after allowing 52 points and 567 yards last week to Tennessee by grounding the visitors’ “Air Raid” offense, allowing 293 total yards and a 1-yard touchdown run by Jo’quavious Marks on the game’s final play.

Mississippi State’s Will Rogers, who has five starts this season that produced at least 313 passing yards, went 30 of 60 for 231 yards but had trouble moving into the red zone.

The victory was the Crimson Tide’s 15th consecutive win over its West Division foe, which entered as a 21-point underdog.

In the first quarter, Young capitalized on a wild scramble, finding time to hit a wide-open Earle for a 31-yard score and a 7-0 lead with 3:57 left. The Crimson Tide ran just nine plays in the opening frame and had 90 yards of offense — just 1 yard rushing.

Following a targeting call and ejection of Bulldogs safety Jackie Matthews, Gibbs ripped off a 19-yard sprint off the right side to put Alabama up 14-0 on a three-play, 74-yard drive with 11:38 left in the first half.

Like he did on his first scoring pass, Young again found time by scrambling to his right and floating a pass that Holden secured for a 6-yard score and a three-touchdown lead just over three minutes later.

Will Reichard, who missed a late, tiebreaking field goal in the 52-49 loss to the Volunteers, drilled a 50-yard attempt to make it 24-0 with just under three minutes to go in the first half.

Late in the third quarter, Alabama took advantage of a short field on a muffed punt recovered by Jaylen Moody at the Mississippi State 17. Reichard finished the series with a 33-yard kick and later added a 38-yarder.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2022; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Ramel Keyton (80) runs the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first quarter at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Tennessee shocks No. 3 Alabama on FG as time expires

Chase McGrath’s 40-yard field goal as time expired lifted No. 6 Tennessee to an epic 52-49 victory over No. 3 Alabama on Saturday night in Knoxville, Tenn.

Tennessee (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) snapped a 15-game losing streak against the Crimson Tide (6-1, 3-1) and beat Alabama for the first time since Nick Saban became the Tide’s coach in 2007.

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker set up the game-winning score by driving the Volunteers 45 yards in only 13 seconds on two long completions to Ramel Keyton and Bru McCoy to give them the ball at the Alabama 23.

Hooker completed 21 of 30 passes for 385 yards and threw five touchdown passes. He connected on all five of his touchdown passes with receiver Jalin Hyatt, who finished with six catches for 207 yards.

Hyatt’s 13-yard touchdown catch with 3:26 left knotted the score at 49.

Will Reichard had a chance to put Alabama ahead with 15 seconds left but missed a 50-yard attempt wide right. It was Reichard’s fourth miss in his past seven attempts.

The game featured the return of Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young after he missed the Crimson Tide’s previous game with a right shoulder injury. Young completed 35 of 52 passes for 455 yards and threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Young helped Alabama erase a 28-10 deficit in the second quarter — its largest in three seasons — before the team’s traded scores down the stretch. Jahmyr Gibbs’ 26-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion pass from Young to Ja’Corey Brooks tied the game at 28.

Gibbs ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.

Young’s 1-yard TD pass to Cameron Latu tied the game at 42 with 8:38 left.

Alabama’s defense provided the go-ahead points on the ensuing series when Hooker was sacked and fumbled. Dallas Turner picked it up and returned it 11 yards to give Alabama a 49-42 lead with 7:49 left.

But Tennessee’s up-tempo offense, which amassed 567 total yards, struck again late and set up McGrath’s game-winner in the final minute.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) runs after a catch in the second quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 Alabama uses ground game to beat No. 20 Arkansas

Jahmyr Gibbs ran for 206 yards, most of which came on two long touchdown runs, to help the Alabama Crimson Tide to a 49-26 victory over the host Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday night in Fayetteville, Ark.

The ground game helped Alabama survive the shoulder injury to star quarterback Bryce Young, who did not return after leaving in the second quarter.

No. 2 Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC) hung on for its 15th consecutive win over the Razorbacks (3-2, 1-2).

Gibbs’ touchdown runs of 72 and 76 yards in the fourth quarter helped the Crimson Tide pull away after No. 20 Arkansas had cut their advantage to 28-23 with 19 seconds remaining in the third.

Freshman Jalen Milroe took over for Young and made the momentum-swinging play on Alabama’s second offensive snap of the fourth quarter. On third and 15 from their own 20, Milroe scrambled and broke loose downfield for a 77-yard run to the Arkansas 3. Two plays later, Jase McClellan scored to put Alabama ahead 35-23.

Milroe completed 4 of 9 passes for 65 yards and threw one touchdown pass and no interceptions.

Young, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, hurt himself with 10:47 left in the second quarter when he landed awkwardly on his right side while running toward the far sideline. Young remained in the game and threw a pass on the next play, but then pointed to his right shoulder as team trainers met him on the Alabama sideline.

Young completed 7 of 13 passes for 173 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and also ran for an 8-yard score.

Raheim Sanders led the Razorbacks with 101 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries while KJ Jefferson completed 13 of 24 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown.

After Alabama’s advantage was cut to 28-14, Arkansas kicker Jake Bates kicked and recovered an onside kick leading to a field goal.

On the next drive, another key special teams play went Arkansas’ way. A long snap on an Alabama punt hit Henry To’o To’o and rolled away from punter James Burnip who covered it up at the Tide 3-yard line. Jefferson scored on the next play to cut Alabama’s lead to 28-23, but was stuffed on the ensuing two-point conversion.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) rushes for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama QB Bryce Young leaves with shoulder injury

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young left Saturday’s game with a first-half shoulder injury after he was tackled out of bounds.

Young, who won the Heisman Trophy last season, jammed his shoulder into the turf and later jogged to the locker room. Per a report by CBS, Young was questionable to return, but he did have a helmet in hand as Alabama opened the third quarter.

Alabama turned to backup quarterback Jalen Millroe, who returned in the Crimson Tide’s opening series of the third quarter. Millroe had a 22-yard touchdown pass to JoJo Earle and a 3-yard touchdown run.

Young, who exited with 10:54 remaining in the second quarter, was 7-for-13 for 173 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Including his first-half work Saturday, Young has thrown for 1,202 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) looks to pass against Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 Alabama puts win streak vs. No. 20 Arkansas on line

Alabama will try to continue its dominance of Southeastern Conference rival Arkansas on Saturday when it travels to Fayetteville, Ark., in one of four matchups this week between teams in the top 20.

The No. 2 Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0 SEC) have won 15 consecutive games against the 20th-ranked Razorbacks (3-1, 1-1) and have not lost a matchup in the series since 2006, the year before Nick Saban arrived at Alabama.

This will be the Tide’s second road game of the season and first against a conference opponent. In its only road game so far, Alabama narrowly escaped with a 20-19 nonconference victory at Texas on Sept. 10.

The Razorbacks last defeated Alabama in 2006 at home, and could use a major bounce back victory after blowing a 14-point lead in last week’s 23-21 loss to then-No. 23 Texas A&M.

Arkansas led 14-0 before the Aggies scored 23 unanswered points. The Razorbacks pulled to within two, but kicker Cam Little’s 42-yard go-ahead field goal with 1:30 remaining in the game bounced off the top of the right upright.

“You know, after the game and on the bus, I was going to the airport I went back and talked to each and every one of them,” Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. “The great thing about it is that we’re not used to it. That was only (the second loss) in the last 10 games. But it hurt.”

The loss cost the Razorbacks a chance to start 4-0 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1988-89, while preventing them from winning their first two SEC games since 2006. It also cost them 10 spots in the AP Top 25 rankings.

Each team begins a tough stretch in the schedule Saturday.

Alabama, which ranks fifth in the nation in scoring and sixth in total offense (48.3 points and 517.5 yards per game), has No. 17 Texas A&M and then No. 8 Tennessee on the schedule. Arkansas follows this week’s game with three consecutive road games at Mississippi State, No. 19 BYU and Auburn.

“This is a very dangerous team we’re playing in Arkansas,” Saban said. “They have a very, very good team. Coming off a tough loss. They make a lot of explosive plays.”

Both teams have run the ball well. The Razorbacks rank ninth nationally with 243.8 rushing yards per game just ahead of Alabama, which ranks 10th at 235 yards per game.

Arkansas’ Raheim Sanders leads the SEC with 508 yards on 83 carries and has three touchdowns while averaging 6.1 yards. Quarterback KJ Jefferson has 274 rushing yards and four touchdowns in addition to his 941 yards, eight touchdowns and only one interception passing on 67-of-97 attempts.

“(Quarterback) KJ Jefferson is a dual threat-wise, big, strong, really good passer,” Saban said. “They’ve got a lot of quarterback runs, which create another gap on defense. And to go with that, they have great play-action passes.”

Alabama counters at QB with reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, who has completed 83 of 121 passes for 1,029 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions so far while rushing for 150 yards and two touchdowns.

“(I see) a lot of confidence … in everything he does, whether he’s throwing, whether he’s scrambling, staying in the pocket until the last second,” Pittman said. “When he gets outside the pocket, he just looks comfortable, like ‘I could run it for a touchdown, I can throw it for a touchdown. I’m just gonna do kind of whichever one I decide to do.’ ”

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) throws a pass against the Texas Longhorns during the first half at at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

After close call, No. 2 Alabama faces Louisiana-Monroe

Alabama absorbed an upset loss to Louisiana-Monroe in coach Nick Saban’s first season at the helm of the Crimson Tide, with that history looming over Saturday’s repeat matchup between the programs.

Because the defeat was in 2007, though, Saban finds dwelling on it with current players largely ineffective as the Warhawks visit Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday.

More recent history is fair game. It was only last week when top-10 programs Texas A&M and Notre Dame lost to visiting foes from non-power conferences. Neither is in the top 10 this week.

The Crimson Tide needed Will Reichard’s 33-yard field goal with 10 seconds left to escape unranked Texas’ upset bid and prevail 20-19 on the road. The close call knocked Alabama from the top spot, with Georgia ranked No. 1 in the country this week.

“History doesn’t seem to be on the forefront sometimes, and I do think that players relate better to things that affect them, which most of them don’t remember those types of things,” Saban said of a loss that occurred 15 years ago. “I think sometimes what happens currently, like what happened last week to a couple teams, may be something that they can identify with and relate to better.”

The Crimson Tide (2-0) haven’t lost in non-conference play since the Warhawks edged them 21-14 on Nov. 17, 2007.

Alabama used the heroics of reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young to get past Texas, including an athletic escape from a would-be sack that turned into a 20-yard run on the game-winning drive.

Young was 27-of-39 passing for 213 yards and a touchdown, while rushing seven times for 38 yards. Jase McClellan had a game-best 97 yards and a TD on six carries.

“I think there’s a lot to learn from this last game,” Saban said. “I think No. 1, it’s not just about playing hard. I think our guys played hard in the game. … It’s also about playing smart, having good discipline to execute, focus on what’s in front of you and do your job. Not only do your job but do it fundamentally with the correct technique.”

Louisiana-Monroe (1-1) is coming off a 35-7 rout of Nicholls State that saw quarterback Chandler Rogers complete passes to 10 different receivers.

Rogers was 20 of 25 for 253 yards and two scores, with Jevin Frett making six receptions for 71 yards and a TD.

“Chandler played with such poise,” Warhawks coach Terry Bowden said. “I know we dropped at least three of his passes early. It was just a magnificent night of either throwing for the first down or running just enough for the first down, managing our offense and knowing exactly what each play needed.”

A week before Alabama escaped at Texas, Louisiana-Monroe lost to the Longhorns 52-10.

Alabama leads the all-time series 2-1, with each meeting at Tuscaloosa. The programs last met in 2015, when the Crimson Tide got their revenge for 2007 by winning 34-0.

Bowden is 3-3 in his career against Alabama. Each contest came when Bowden coached rival Auburn in the 1990s.

The Crimson Tide enter Saturday’s game with a 54-game non-conference winning streak in the regular season, including 40 victories at home.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) outruns Utah State defensive lineman Daniel Grzesiak (9) and Utah State defensive lineman Byron Vaughns (11) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Texas gets its chance against No. 1 Alabama

Texas has the chance to jump back into the national spotlight Saturday afternoon when the Longhorns host top-ranked Alabama in nonconference play at Austin, Texas.

The Longhorns have slid from college football’s elites, managing just one 10-win campaign in the past 12 seasons, haven’t won a conference championship since 2009 and last earned a national championship in 2005.

And last year Texas stumbled to 5-7 in Steve Sarkisian’s first season as coach.

But the current narrative can be altered quickly if the Longhorns (1-0) can slay Nick Saban’s powerful Crimson Tide (1-0).

Sarkisian, formerly an offensive coordinator at Alabama, is doing his best to downplay the matchup with his team entering as a three-touchdown underdog.

“It’s one game, you know?” Sarkisian said. “It’s a chance for us to do what we love to do. I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking this is going to be the game that’s going to define our program.

“It might, it might not. I’m not that concerned about it. I’m more concerned about just the way we play the game.”

Texas will join Alabama in the Southeastern Conference in 2025 — or perhaps a year earlier if the Longhorns and Oklahoma are successful in hastening their bid to leave the Big 12.

Texas is 7-1-1 all-time against Alabama with the loss coming in the BCS Championship Game at the end of the 2009 season.

Last week, the Longhorns opened with a 52-10 rout of Louisiana-Monroe, while the Crimson Tide crushed Utah State 55-0.

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young led Alabama by passing for five touchdowns and rushing for one against the Aggies. He passed for 195 yards and rushed for a career-best 100.

“I just try to do whatever’s best for the team, whatever the defense gives me,” Young said of his all-around performance. “But that was definitely interesting. It definitely wasn’t something I was planning.”

Young expects a fierce battle against the Longhorns.

“We have a lot of respect for them as a program,” Young said. “We know that we’re going to a hostile environment. So, we’re gonna learn all that we can throughout the week. We’re gonna study, we’re gonna prepare. We know it’s gonna take everything.”

Sarkisian was offensive coordinator in Young’s initial season at Alabama in 2020 when the latter backed up Mac Jones. But when the topic of familiarity came up, Saban shut down such talk with his usual defensiveness.

“We’ve seemed to play several teams now that kind of know us, but you act like we don’t know them,” Saban said. “So just because somebody knows you when they play you, doesn’t mean they’re going to beat you. And just because you know them when you play them, doesn’t mean you’re gonna beat them either. It’s gonna come down to how you execute.”

New Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers, who transferred from Ohio State, passed for 225 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his first start.

Ewers’ second pass was intercepted, but he settled down and Sarkisian was pleased with the debut of his 19-year-old quarterback.

“We stuck to the plan,” Sarkisian said. “We had some things called down the field that I thought he did a nice job of finding his checkdowns on. You can’t expect him to ride this bike and do it with training wheels on. I’ve got to let him go.”

Now Ewers will face a defense led by Crimson Tide All-American linebacker Will Anderson. Alabama allowed just 136 yards against Utah State.

Anderson, who led the nation with 17.5 sacks last season, is ready to bring the heat against the Longhorns.

“They haven’t probably seen a team like us before and I’ll go out there and try to get him rattled up a little bit, go in and get pressure on him early on,” Anderson said. “I think it is very beneficial to what we have to do to slow him down or slow the team down.”

–Field Level Media