Alabama crushes winless Georgia State

Christopher Walsh, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- In a matchup of extremes in the Football Bowl Subdivision, top-ranked Alabama celebrated homecoming by crushing winless Georgia State 45-3 at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.
Senior quarterback AJ McCarron tied his career high for touchdown passes with four and was pulled with six minutes remaining in the first half. He completed 15 of 16 passes for 166 yards to set a school record for completion percentage at 93.75 percent.
"We did a little better job of executing, especially the way we came out and the scored on what the first five possessions," coach Nick Saban said. "Our guys made improvement and it was great to be able to play a lot of players."
Meanwhile, even without suspended free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the defense didn't give up a touchdown for the third straight Saturday.
"A lot of pride," sophomore safety Landon Collins said. "That's what we live upon, that no offense can score on us, which we try and do every game."
Alabama (5-0) opened with a pair of seven-play touchdown drives, with wide receiver Christion Jones scoring the first on an 8-yard catch, followed by running back T.J. Yeldon on a 4-yard run.
The rout kicked into high gear when, on the subsequent kickoff, Dee Hart forced a fumble that Dillon Lee recovered, and Alabama scored on the next play when McCarron threw the ball into the back corner of the end zone and wide receiver DeAndrew White reached around cornerback Demarius Matthews for an impressive one-handed snag and 21-0 lead.
"It was just with my left hand," White said. "I just held on to it as tight as I could because I knew he was going to try and get it out."
Running back Kenyan Drake notched the next touchdown by turning a short swing pass into a 23-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. Jalston Fowler added a 1-yard touchdown catch out of the backfield, and a 27-yard field goal by Cade Foster gave Alabama a 38-0 halftime lead.
The Crimson Tide's other touchdown came on a 10-yard reception by redshirt freshman Chris Black from second-string quarterback Blake Sims.
Fifteen different players caught at least one pass for Alabama, led by Black's five catches for 53 yards and one touchdown.
"It was a lot of fun," said Black, who missed last season with a shoulder injury. "I just wanted to be ready when they called my number."
With the game played in unseasonably steamy conditions, the Crimson Tide essentially used second- and third-string players for the entire second half.
Georgia State (0-5) crossed midfield twice and Wil Lutz made a school-record 53-yard field goal.
"Of course the experience was awesome," he said. "I wish it would have gone better."
With the win, Alabama has won 22 straight games against non-Southeastern Conference opponents, during which it has outscored them 1,221-342.
"I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that they had some first-rounders breathing down their throat," Georgia State coach Trent Miles said about his team's miscues. "The pressure was on. It's not practice. I don't think it was just mental mistakes."
NOTES: Sophomore Landon Collins started in place of Clinton-Dix, who was suspended earlier in the week for accepting a small loan from a strength and conditioning assistant after his car was broken into during the summer. ... Georgia State senior WR Albert Wilson came into the game averaging 19.6 yards per catch, which led the nation among active Bowl Subdivision players. He was limited to four catches for 60 yards. ... Alabama started rotating in reserves even in the first quarter, including freshman Grant Hill at right tackle. Freshmen CB Eddie Jackson (third straight start) and DL A'Shawn Robinson (first start) started on the defense, while junior DE Jeoffrey Pagan did not play. Junior Chad Lindsay made his first career start at center for injured center Ryan Kelly (knee). WR Amari Cooper did not play in the first quarter.

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