TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WCBI/UA Athletics) — The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0 overall; 1-0 in the
Southeastern Conference) scored on their first six possessions of the game while racing to a 30-0 halftime lead on the way to a 40-7 defeat of Florida Atlantic (1-3) on Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 101,821 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The Crimson Tide scored on its first six possessions of the game (every possession of the first half) while not allowing an FAU first down until 4:37 remained in the second quarter. During that first half, Alabama held the Owls to 23 total yards (1 rushing, 22 passing) on 21 plays from scrimmage while forcing punts on all five FAU possessions of the half. Alabama running back Eddie Lacy rushed for 106 yards on 15 carries while quarterback AJ McCarron passed for 212 yards and three touchdowns on 15-of-25 passing to lead the Tide offense. Linebacker C.J. Mosley led the Alabama defense with six tackles.
The Crimson Tide scored on its first six possessions of the game (every possession of the first half) while not allowing an FAU first down until 4:37 remained in the second quarter on the way to a 30-0 halftime lead. During that first half, Alabama held the Owls to 23 total yards (1 rushing, 22 passing) on 21 plays from scrimmage while forcing punts on all five FAU possessions of the half.
Alabama took the opening kickoff and quickly moved ahead on the scoreboard. On the third play of the game, quarterback AJ McCarron passed to wide receiver Kenny Bell on a crossing patter from the Alabama 15-yard line and Bell outran an FAU defender and raced 85 yards for a touchdown. Jeremy Shelley’s point-after conversion put the Crimson Tide on top, 7-0, with 13:18 left in the opening quarter. The scoring pass tied for the fourth-longest scoring pass play in Alabama history and matched the 13th-longest scoring play from scrimmage in Crimson Tide annals.
After forcing an FAU punt on the ensuing possession, Alabama put together another scoring drive. The rushing game was the focal point of this drive with Eddie Lacy carrying five times for 37 yards on the march as the Tide moved 63 yards in 12 plays. The scoring play was a four-yard pass from McCarron to DeAndrew White, who leaped to catch the pass at the back of the end zone and deftly landed with both feet barely inbounds for the score. Shelley’s point-after kick gave Alabama 14-0 lead with 6:12 left in the first quarter.
Alabama’s defense forced another FAU punt on the ensuing possession, but return man Christion Jones was stripped of the ball at the Alabama 25-yard line to set up the Owls with a scoring threat. Three plays lost six yards to set up a 48-yard field goal attempt that was blocked by Jesse Williams.
The Crimson Tide offense continued rolling on its next possession by moving 34 yards in nine plays to a 52-yard field goal by Cade Foster for a 17-0 Alabama lead with 14:49 left in the second quarter. A 16-yard pass from McCarron to tight end Brian Vogler highlighted the drive that started at the Tide 31 and ended at the FAU 35.
After another FAU punt, Alabama scored on its next possession as Jeremy Shelley capped a five-play, 31-yard march in 2:11 with a 26-yard field goal to give the Crimson Tide a 20-0 lead with 10:31 remaining in the second quarter.
FAU managed its first first down of the game on the next possession, but that drive ended with another punt that went out of bounds at the Alabama 5-yard line with 2:46 left in the first half. Operating in a two-minute offensive mode, the Tide marched 95 yards in eight plays to score on a 4-yard pass from McCarron to Christion Jones with eight seconds left in the first half.
After forcing an FAU punt to start the second half, Alabama took possession at its own 35-yard line and marched to the Owls’ 17-yard line before a sack of McCarron on a third down play pushed the Tide back to the 29. From there, Foster nailed a 46-yard field goal with 8:26 left in the third quarter to extend the Alabama lead to 33-0. Alabama capped the scoring early in the fourth quarter on a 8-yard run by Kenyan Drake with 11:13 remaining that ran the lead to 40-0. Drake’s run capped a 44-yard drive on eight plays.
FAU avoided the shutout by driving 75 yards in 15 plays to score with 2:49 left on a 6-yard pass from Graham Wilbert to Alex DeLeon.