The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Tuscaloosa, AL

Dominant Alabama defense powers past UL Monroe

3072 days ago
Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Jake Coker threw three touchdown passes and No. 12 Alabama's defense limited Louisiana-Monroe to 92 total yards in a 34-0 rout on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide (3-1) had an uneven offensive performance but it didn't make much difference in a game falling between No. 3 Mississippi and No. 7 Georgia.

The Warhawks (1-2) didn't have a first down in the first 23 minutes and were held to 9 yards rushing. They lost 51-14 to the Bulldogs three weeks earlier.

This one seemed out of reach by the time Alabama went up 14-0 in the second quarter.

The Tide racked up six sacks and two interceptions.

Coker was 17-of-31 passing for 158 yards but also threw an interception for the third straight game. He hit freshman Calvin Ridley for a 15-yard touchdown and backup tight end Michael Nysewander for a 19-yarder.

By the time ArDarius Stewart caught Coker's third touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, most of the announced 101,323 fans had made a beeline for the exits.

The only mystery was whether the Tide would produce the 16th shutout under Saban, and a late stop by the backups took care of that.

The best news for the Tide might have come from the drives that stalled. Adam Griffith broke out of a kicking slump, making field goals of 40 and 35 yards. He came into the game having made only a 20-yarder in five attempts and now has hit three straight.

Coker couldn't connect on a number of downfield attempts, including one that was picked by safety Tre' Hunter when it didn't appear he had a receiver much closer than 10 yards of the ball. He was hit as he threw, and also had receivers drop a handful of passes.

Derrick Henry rushed for a touchdown in his ninth straight game and gained 52 yards on 13 carries after battling illness during the week. Kenyan Drake ran for 65 yards.

The Tide defense was much more dominating.

The Warhawks didn't have a first down until faking a punt 24 minutes into the game. Punter Chris Qualls hit Harley Scioneaux on fourth-and-3 from their own 20.

Louisiana-Monroe's Garrett Smith was 17 of 37 for 74 yards with a pair of interceptions. Ajalen Holley was limited to just 38 yards on nine catches.

Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen aggravated a nagging left shoulder injury in the second quarter and wore a sling on the sidelines in the second half in a track suit.

Saban said he expects Allen to play against Georgia.