TUSCALOOSA, AL (WSFA) - The No. 1 ranked Alabama football team piled up 591 yards of offense, while allowing just 175 yards on defense en route to a 48-3 win over the San Jose State Spartans before a sold-pout crowd of 101,821 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in its season opener on Saturday.
Senior quarterback Greg McElroy finished the night 13-of-15 passing for 218 yards and one touchdown while red shirt freshman running back Eddie Lacy led all rushers with 113 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns.
Sophomore running back Trent Richardson added 114 yards of total offense (68 rushing, 46 receiving) and two touchdowns while junior wide receiver Julio Jones finished with six catches for 93 yards and a touchdown for the Crimson Tide.
" I think the real emphasis with our team was, all along, to develop an identity for this team for 2010," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "And focus on the things that we need to do to create that in terms of the effort, the toughness, the discipline to execute, and I was pretty pleased with that.
McElroy and redshirt freshman quarterback A.J. McCarron combined for 22-of-30 passing for 334 yards and two touchdowns. McElroy started the game by completing his first six passes, the last of which good for a 48-yard touchdown strike to junior wideout Marquis Maze that put Alabama up 14-3 in the first quarter. Maze finished the game with three catches for 68 yards.
McElroy led the Tide to touchdowns on three of its first four possessions before giving way to McCarron for two possessions early in the second quarter with Alabama up 21-3. Upon entering the game, McCarron took the Tide right down the field, hooking up with Jones on two consecutive pass plays, the latter of which was good for a 29-yard touchdown.
McElroy returned to lead Alabama to a score right before the end of the half, courtesy of a 41-yard field goal by freshman kicker Cade Foster, before turning it over to McCarron for the second half of play.
McElroy's 86.7 completion percentage ties his own record set last year versus North Texas as well as Walter Lewis's (1983 vs. Mississippi) and Danny Woodson (1991 vs. Vanderbilt) for the highest single-game completion percentage for a player with at least 10 completions.
"Everybody did well, and even the young guys came in and stepped up," Jones said. "When we needed plays out there they came in and stepped up; from the offensive lineman holding their blocks, receivers making catches, and the quarterbacks making the right reads."
Richardson and Lacy carried the ball a combined 24 times for 183 yards and four touchdowns while junior running back Demetrius Goode added 11 carries for 70 yards as Alabama churned out 257 yards on the ground.
"We started fast and finished strong," Richardson said. "We came together as the game went on. It was good to finally be in a game situation. A lot of people were able to see the field tonight and gain valuable experience for future games."
San Jose State (0-1) managed a field goal on its opening possession but did not muster a score for the rest of the game. The Spartans managed just 89 yards passing, 86 yards rushing and only seven first downs (compared to 30 for the Crimson Tide). Freshman linebacker C.J. Moseley led Alabama with seven tackles while junior linebacker Chris Jordan added six stops. Sophomore free safety Robert Lester notched an interception and a sack as twenty-five Alabama players saw action on defensive side of the ball versus SJSU.
The Crimson Tide (1-0) led the entire way, needing just eight plays to go 71 yards for an opening touchdown on its first possession of the game. Alabama led 14-3 after one quarter and 31-3 at the half before pulling most of its starters for the second half. Lacy's 10-yard touchdown run at the 14:04 mark of the fourth quarter closed out the scoring for both teams.
The Crimson Tide will next take on Penn State at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 11. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Central Time, and ESPN will televise the game.
Press release courtesy of the University of Alabama