The Alabama Crimson Tide proved to be too much for Fresno State on Saturday, backing up its No. 1 ranking with a 41-10 victory over the Bulldogs.
While I'd like to see Alabama display a more polished aerial attack, I'll give Daboll credit for not trying to make Hurts fit into a box that he simply doesn't feel comfortable being in and remembering that the objective of the game is to win, not put up big passing yards. Jalen Hurts faked the hand off to Damien Harris and ran 55 yards for the touchdown!
John Kelly ran for 80 yards and caught five passes for 60 yards to lead the Volunteers in rushing and receiving.
Hurts was almost flawless in the first half, completing 12 of 13 pass attempts for 112 yards - including a 23-yard touchdown throw to Hentges to cap the second offensive series. 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. Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford showed up with a nice game plan and quarterback Chason Virgil fought like a champ to get everything the Bulldogs could. Whatever you or I think of Hurts as a passer is only relevant to what he's asked to do inside the Tide's offense to give it the best chance of winning. Defensively, a pair of interceptions from Jamal Hicks and a sack from Trey Sutton highlighted a defensive outing that saw the Rams hold Abilene to 333 yards of total offense and 5 for 16 on 3rd down. A leaner secondary should allow Hurts and new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll more leeway to display the long-repeated preseason claim of the quarterback's improved consistency through the air.
Special teams - C: There weren't almost as many opportunities for big special teams plays Saturday as there were in Week 1, but senior kicker Andy Pappanastos nailed his two field goal tries from 24 and 22 yards in the second half and punter JK Scott averaged almost 50 yards a kick. During that drive, Hurts went over 3,000 career passing yards.
In its final three games last season - against Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship contest, Washington in the Peach Bowl national semifinal and Clemson in the title game - Alabama opened by going three-and-out all three times.More news: Bahamians terrified as Hurricane Irma 'sucks away' miles of ocean
For the second week in a row Alabama did not turn over the football and compared to six punts in week one, Alabama only punted three times against Fresno State.
"I couldn't say what the most hard thing was, because everything they really did, they did well".
Four linebackers will be out for the game with injury.
"Starting the game out fast like that was a good sign for us", Harris said.
Although Fresno State does not have to play the No. 1 team in the country again next week, the 'Dogs have another tough game.