No. 1 Alabama rolls to 56-14 win over Lou­i­si­ana-Lafayette

The Standard Journal - - NATIONAL SPORTS - By John Zenor AP Sports Writer ALABAMA 56, LOU­I­SI­ANA-LAFAYETTE 14

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It was Jaylen and Jalen day for No. 1 Alabama.

Jaylen Wad­dle re­turned a punt for a touch­down and caught two scor­ing passes, in­clud­ing a 94-yarder, and Jalen Hurts made a state­ment just by play­ing in the Crim­son Tide’s 56-14 vic­tory Satur­day over Lou­i­si­ana-Lafayette.

Quar­ter­backs Tua Tago­v­ailoa and Hurts staked the Crim­son Tide (5-0) to a 49-0 half­time lead over the Ra­gin’ Ca­juns (1-3) en route to the de­fend­ing na­tional cham­pi­ons’ lat­est blowout.

Hurts, who twice led Alabama to na­tional cham­pi­onship games but lost his start­ing job, erased any ques­tion about pos­si­bly tak­ing a red­shirt year by play­ing in his fifth game.

“There’s never been any­body that I know of that’s in the po­si­tion that he’s in, so that just speaks vol­umes to his char­ac­ter,” Alabama tail­back Josh Ja­cobs said.

Third-teamer Mac Jones got into the act with his 94-yarder to the fresh­man Wad­dle late in the third quar­ter. It tied for the sec­ond-long­est TD catch in Alabama his­tory.

Alabama has scored at least 45 points five games in a row for the first time in pro­gram his­tory.

Tago­v­ailoa com­pleted all eight of his at­tempts for 128 yards and two touch­downs, mostly in the first quar­ter. Hurts was 4 of 6 for 118 yards, in­clud­ing a 54-yard touch­down to Henry Ruggs III.

Just the fact that Hurts played was note­wor­thy.

“Jalen ob­vi­ously han­dled this ex­tremely well rel­a­tive to be­ing a great team player, great team leader, re­spect­ing his team­mates and stick­ing with the pro­gram here,” Alabama coach Nick Sa­ban said.

“He played very well to­day and took ad­van­tage of when he does have an op­por­tu­nity to play, he plays well and tries to cre­ate value for him­self, which I think would be the mes­sage that I would send to all play­ers out there who are try­ing to take ad­van­tage of this new rule.”

Ruggs caught five passes for 116 yards and two TDs. Wad­dle gained 138 yards on three catches and re­turned a punt by zig-zag­ging 63 yards for a score.

“The dude is ex­plo­sive,” Ruggs said. “He’s very shifty and very fast. He’s go­ing to be a prob­lem.”

Alabama took a 21-0 lead in the first seven min­utes, with help from two big spe­cial teams plays, Wad­dle’s re­turn and Derek Kief’s blocked punt.

Ja­cobs ran for two touch­downs in the first quar­ter.

The Ra­gin’ Ca­juns scored twice in the fourth but were out­gained 608288. Trey Ra­gas gained 111 yards on 16 rushes with a 1-yard touch­down.

Louisana-Lafayette coach Billy Napier said he was con­cerned about Wad­dle and Ja­cobs, who re­turns kicks.

“I prob­a­bly lost more sleep this week think­ing about that than I did any­thing else,” Napier said.

Lou­i­si­ana-Lafayette: Napier, a for­mer Alabama re­ceivers coach, joins the ranks of ex-Sa­ban as­sis­tants who haven’t beaten their for­mer boss. Sa­ban is 14-0 against for­mer un­der­lings, in­clud­ing last week over Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher.

Alabama: Fourth straight game against teams that aren’t ranked. Did what it’s sup­posed to in such an ob­vi­ous mis­match: Take care of busi­ness early.

Hurts of­fi­cially can’t fol­low the path of play­ers such as Clem­son quar­ter­back Kelly Bryant, leav­ing teams to pre­serve a year of el­i­gi­bil­ity. He en­tered on the last drive of the first quar­ter. A new NCAA rule al­lows play­ers to red­shirt if they don’t play in more than four games.

There were thou­sands of empty seats for the Tide’s lat­est blowout, and only a frac­tion of seats in the stu­dent sec­tions were filled. Of­fi­cial at­ten­dance was a near-ca­pac­ity 101,471.

Lou­i­si­ana-Lafayette tries to push its record against Texas State to 5-0.

Alabama trav­els to SEC West op­po­nent Arkansas with an­other early kick­off.

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