Notebook: Alabama Running Game sees first 100+ yard rusher of 2021

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – It wasn’t Brian Robinson Jr., nor Jase McClellan. It wasn’t even Trey Sanders.

No, on Saturday night inside a crowded Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama running back Roydell Williams was the first Crimson Tide rusher to eclipse the 100-yard one-game running mark this season, finishing against Southern Miss with 110 yards and an 11 carries touchdown.

Williams’ longest run of the day was in the first quarter, a 55-yard camper in the second and six to put the Crimson Tide to the yard line and set up a touchdown.

“The running backs did a great job being able to read those blocks and those cups,” Alabama quarterback Bryce Young said after the game. “[…] We have to watch the tape and see what we can improve on, but I think it’s something that we have to build on and keep going. “

In total, Alabama’s running backs totaled 219 yards and one touchdown and averaged 6.7 yards per carry.

Oh, so close …

JoJo Earle returned a punt for a touchdown in the last minute of the first quarter, but the celebration was short-lived. The Crimson Tide was flagged for detention and Alabama took over from their own 40. The celebration was back on three games later when Roydell Williams scored on a one-yard run for a 28-0 lead. in Alabama.

Alabama’s last punt return for a touchdown was DeVonta Smith’s 84-yard return against Arkansas last season.

Earle had another big comeback in the third quarter, but it was canceled by a block in the back penalty.

It had to happen…

Bryce Young threw his first interception of the season. The second-year quarterback threw 86 no-choice passes, but on the 87th attempt he threw one, but it wasn’t really his fault.

Young passed to Crimson Tide wide receiver Jameson Williams for a possible touchdown. But Williams sent the ball into the hands of Southern defender Miss Malik Shorts for turnover.

The longest streak for an Alabama quarterback without an interception shot was AJ McCarron with 291 attempts.

No doubt …

Having not lagged behind at any time this season, Alabama football continues its quarterback streak without playing from behind. In total, the Crimson Tide have played 53 straight quarterfinals ahead of their competition, which is the longest streak of any FBS program since 1950.

Post-match notes

Courtesy of Alabama Athletics

  • Alabama continue to lead the nation in home winning percentage, improving to a 279-54-3 (.834) record after their 63-14 win over Southern Miss.
    • Head coach Nick Saban is 90-8 in home games in Alabama, including winning 60 of his last 63 games at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  • Bryce Young tied for second most touchdowns in a five-game against Southern Miss.
    • His five touchdown passes include Gary Hollingsworth (once at Ole Miss on November 4, 1989), Tua Tagovailoa (three times, most recent against Southern Miss on September 14, 2019) and Mac Jones (three times, most recent against Ohio. State on January 11, 2021).
  • Jameson Williams recorded two touchdowns on a pair of kickoff returns against Southern Miss, marking the first time an Alabama player has scored on two kickoff returns in a single game.
    • Williams’ first return from the kickoff for a touchdown was 100 yards to mark the eighth 100-yard kickoff return in program history. Tyrone Prothro was the last Crimson Tide player to record a 100-yard kickoff return (at Kentucky Oct. 9, 2004).
      • Williams’ two kickoff returns marked Alabama’s 27th and 28th kickoff returns for a touchdown in school history.
        • Jaylen Waddle was the last Alabama player to record a kickoff return for a touchdown at Auburn on November 20, 2019 (98 yards).
      • Alabama now have 83 non-offensive touchdowns in Nick Saban’s day and three this season.
        • Of the 83 non-offensive touchdowns, tonight’s scores marked the seventh and eighth kickoff returns for a touchdown under Saban.
    • Gary Martin was the last Alabama player to record a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in opening practice (in Miami on Dec. 7, 1963).
  • Following their 63-14 win over Southern Miss, the Tide have now scored 30 or more points in 30 straight games.
    • The Crimson Tide are one 30-point game away from UCF for a streak record. The Knights have recorded 30 or more points in 31 straight games from 2017 to 2019.
  • Alabama gained 608 total yards against Southern Miss, marking the 12th time in program history that it has eclipsed the 600-yard mark in a game.
  • The Tide have now gained over 400 total attacking yards in 43 of their last 45 games
  • Player Highlights:
    • Jameson Williams holds the two longest touchdown receptions of the season, after catching an 81-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Young.
    • Roydell Williams became the first Crimson Tide player to record over 100 rushing yards this season, gaining 110 in the evening game.
      • The second-year running back recorded 102 of those yards in the first half (nine carries).
  • The Alabama captains against Southern Miss were linebacker Will Anderson Jr., defensive back Jordan Battle and offensive lineman Evan Neal.

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