The Crimson Tide looked fairly flawless in their 41-10 win this past weekend over Fresno State, but they also failed to work on an area that needs improving before stepping into SEC play September 23 at Vanderbilt.
While Alabama played a lesser opponent in week two, the Crimson Tide coaches and players always stress, "It's not about who we play, it's about how we play". Though he completed 78 percent of his passes against Fresno State, Alabama QB Jalen Hurts has yet to prove he can throw consistently with accuracy on passes 20 yards or longer.
Hurts also showed off his arm. Senior wideout Calvin Ridley had seven receptions for 82 yards against the Seminoles and caught his 15th career touchdown pass, tied for fifth in Crimson Tide history.
Alabama (2-0) polished off 44-point underdog Fresno State (1-1) with a workmanlike performance on the heels of a hard-hitting opening victory against No. 10 Florida State in Atlanta. Hurts followed that with a 55-yard touchdown scamper on the next play, outracing three Fresno State defenders into the end zone to give the Tide a 7-0 lead over the Bulldogs with 14:21 left in the opening quarter.
"I think that can be a big momentum changer, coming out fast", Hurts said.
Alabama cornerback Anthony Averett vs. Fresno State wide receiver KeeSean Johnson: The team's leading receiver last season who began this season with a spot on the Biletnikoff Award's preseason watch list, Johnson returns as Fresno State's lone explosive playmaker. A 30-yard connection from Virgil to Scott got the ball down to the Tide 18-yard line, and after a 5-yard run by Ronnie Rivers and a 4-yard carry by Josh Hokit to the nine, a 27-yard field goal by senior kicker Jimmy Camacho put the 'Dogs on the board.
David Johnson injured in Cardinals game vs. Lions
The Lions defense also successfully held Arizona's All-Pro running back David Johnson to just 23 rushing yards on 11 attempts. More impressive was how he did it, doing a lot of his work after injuring his left hand early in the second half.
Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough and Najee Harris have between 15 and 21 carries apiece, nearly evenly splitting the carry load so far. Early in the second quarter, freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa got the opportunity to come in and play with the first-team offense.
Quinten Dormady was 13 of 18 for 194 yards with two touchdown passes to go along with two turnovers - one fumble and an interception. He capped the drive with a 16-yard touchdown strike to fellow true freshman Henry Ruggs.
Offensively, Fresno State football averages 66.0 points and 613.0 total yards, 414.0 in passing and 199.0 in rushing per game.
Alabama lost two starting linebackers for the season in Christian Miller (biceps) and Terrell Lewis (elbow). Hurts' quick execution helped Alabama improve its offense from week one on the ground and through the air.
$1,400,000: The Fresno State athletic department will pocket $1.4 million for this Tuscaloosa trip, according to a copy of the game contract obtained by The Anniston Star.