GAMEDAY College Football

Alabama 63, Louisiana-Monroe 7

(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama scored on a long touchdown pass, a pick-six and a blocked punt.

And that was just the first six minutes.

Bryce Young passed for three touchdowns and rushed for a fourth, Will Anderson Jr. scored on an interception return and No. 2 Alabama rolled to a 63-7 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.

The Crimson Tide (3-0) scored on offense, defense and special teams in the first six minutes and raced to a 28-0 first-quarter lead. It was a whirlwind start against the 49 1/2-point underdog Warhawks (1-2) a week after a much closer-than-expected victory over Texas cost Alabama the No. 1 ranking.

Afterward, Tide coach Nick Saban challenged the team to play to the program's always lofty standard more consistently.

"There's some evidence out there that this is the standard we want to play to," Saban said, noting that the competition gets tougher with Southeastern Conference play upcoming.

It wasn't a seamless performance throughout for either the Tide offense or Young, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. But special teams came through, including a school-record for punt return yards.

Young completed 13 of 18 passes for 236 yards but also threw his first two interceptions of the season. He did run for a 7-yard score, where he spun near the goal line and dove across.

Anderson returned his first career interception 25 yards for a touchdown, one play after Young's initial pick. The national sacks leader a year ago, he also got his second sack of the season.

"What can't he do?" cornerback/return man Kool-Aid McKinstry said.

"He was probably surprised he caught it, I ain't gonna lie," linebacker Henry To'oTo'o said. "He had a little stiff-arm and he was just watching it when they did the highlights on the board. And he was like, `I can't believe I did that.'"

Malachi Moore got a short scoop-and-score after Ja'Corey Brooks' blocked punt.

Chandler Rogers completed 11 of 21 passes 96 yards for Louisiana-Monroe and was intercepted once. Malik Jackson ran for an 11-yard touchdown, set up by the Tide's failed fourth-down attempt.

"It went like most people thought it would go," Louisiana-Monroe coach Terry Bowden said. "They were just too good for us in every phase of the game. You could watch the video and say that's kind of what you're stepping into, but you still prepare for them not to play well or something to go wrong. And you have a better game.

"And as I talked to the team afterwards, they were so good in every phase."

Jahmyr Gibbs remained the Tide's most versatile weapon. He gained 36 yards on nine carries and caught four passes for 65 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown when he juked one defender and shed a couple of downfield tackle attempts.

The Tide outgained Louisiana-Monroe 509-169.

THE TAKEAWAY

Louisiana-Monroe: Managed to keep a horrid start from snowballing even more for awhile and actually was only outgained 132-125 before Alabama's final drive of the second half. Bowden is now 3-4 against the Tide, with the first six meetings as coach of rival Auburn from 1993-98.

Alabama: This one won't mean much in the big picture for Alabama's season, but it started out as a nice, swift rebound from the Texas game. The Tide did have a lull before a pristine Young-directed TD drive in the final two minutes before the half.

LONG RETURNS

Alabama had 262 punt return yards to break a 75-year-old game record set against LSU in 1947. McKinstry flirted with scores on returns and Brian Branch produced one in the fourth quarter. McKinstry averaged 34 yards on his first four returns. Then Branch returned a punt 68 yards for a TD. Gibbs also had a 57-yard kick return.

"The blockers did their job and I can't do anything but give them thanks for creating the lanes for me to take," McKinstry said.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

There's no chance Alabama will overtake No. 1 Georgia on Sunday after the Bulldogs beat South Carolina 48-7. Chances are the Tide will stay put.

TIGHT ENDS

Alabama's receivers, for the most part, are having quiet seasons. The tight ends, however, came up big on the final first-half drive. Cameron Latu had three catches, including a 38-yarder when he reached over a defender downfield. Freshman reserve Amari Niblack then caught his first pass, a 15-yard TD.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter UL-MonAla
Ala TD 13:12 Traeshon Holden 33 yard TD pass from Bryce Young (Will Reichard Extra Point) 0 7
Ala TD 10:52 Will Anderson Jr. 25 yard interception return for TD (Will Reichard Extra Point) 0 14
Ala TD 8:50 Malachi Moore 3 yard blocked punt return for TD (Will Reichard Extra Point) 0 21
Ala TD 4:21 Bryce Young 7 yard TD run (Will Reichard Extra Point) 0 28
Second Quarter UL-MonAla
UL-Mon TD 10:11 Malik Jackson 11 yard TD run (Calum Sutherland Extra Point) 7 28
Ala TD 0:52 Amari Niblack 15 yard TD pass from Bryce Young (Will Reichard Extra Point) 7 35
Third Quarter UL-MonAla
Ala TD 8:41 Jahmyr Gibbs 37 yard TD pass from Bryce Young (Will Reichard Extra Point) 7 42
Ala TD 4:30 Roydell Williams 10 yard TD run (Will Reichard Extra Point) 7 49
Fourth Quarter UL-MonAla
Ala TD 12:36 Brian Branch 68 yard punt return for TD (Will Reichard Extra Point) 7 56
Ala TD 7:36 Trey Sanders 6 yard TD run (Will Reichard Extra Point) 7 63
Team Stats
  Louisiana-Monroe Alabama
First downs 12 23
  Rushing 5 13
  Passing 5 10
  Penalty 2 0
3rd Down Efficiency 4-17, 24% 1-6, 17%
4th down efficiency 0-0, -% 1-3, 33%
Rushes-Yards 40-78 38-275
Passing Yards 91 236
Return Yards 52 320
Completions-Attempts-Int 12-24-1 13-20-2
Sacks-Yards Lost 4-23 1-4
Punts 12 2
Fumbles Lost 0-0 2-0
Penalties - Yards 3-25 6-60
Louisiana-Monroe Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
C. Rogers 11 21 96 0 1
G. Hable 1 3 -5 0 0
Alabama Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
B. Young 13 18 236 3 2
J. Milroe 0 2 0 0 0
Louisiana-Monroe Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
M. Jackson 13 36 2.8 1
I. Phillips 9 26 2.9 0
C. Rogers 10 6 0.6 0
B. Mortimer 1 4 4.0 0
A. Henry 3 3 1.0 0
Z. Martin 1 2 2.0 0
G. Hable 2 2 1.0 0
Alabama Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
R. Williams 7 63 9.0 1
J. Miller 4 51 12.8 0
J. McClellan 6 47 7.8 0
J. Milroe 2 42 21.0 0
J. Gibbs 4 36 9.0 0
T. Sanders 4 35 8.8 1
J. Bennett 2 12 6.0 0
B. Young 3 6 2.0 1
Louisiana-Monroe Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
Z. Rasmussen 4 39 9.8 0
T. Howell 2 16 8.0 0
A. Luke 1 13 13.0 0
D. Wiley 1 11 11.0 0
J. Frett 1 9 9.0 0
Z. Jackson 2 8 4.0 0
Z. Martin 1 -5 -5.0 0
Alabama Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Gibbs 4 65 16.3 1
T. Holden 3 60 20.0 1
C. Latu 3 51 17.0 0
J. Brooks 1 29 29.0 0
J. Burton 1 16 16.0 0
A. Niblack 1 15 15.0 1
Louisiana-Monroe Interceptions
Player Int Yards
T. Driggers 1 0
D. Mayberry 1 0
Alabama Interceptions
Player Int Yards
W. Anderson Jr. 1 25
Louisiana-Monroe Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
D. McCormick 9 405 45.0
B. Guilbeau 2 83 41.5
Alabama Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
J. Burnip 2 84 42.0
Louisiana-Monroe Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Alabama Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
K. McKinstry 5 136 27.2
B. Branch 1 68 68.0
I. Bond 1 34 34.0
Louisiana-Monroe Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
A. Luke 2 30 15.0
A. Alce 1 22 22.0
Alabama Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Gibbs 1 57 57.0
Louisiana-Monroe Missed FG
Player Length
Alabama Missed FG
Player Length




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