Tide defense pitches shutout of Commodores

Alabama's Brad Smelley and Darius Hanks celebrate a touchdown during the Crimson Tide's 34-0 win over Vanderbilt.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Led by the nation’s top defensive unit, Alabama recorded its first shutout win in two seasons on Saturday night with a 34-0 victory over Vanderbilt in front of a packed Bryant-Denny Stadium. Sophomore quarterback AJ McCarron led the Crimson Tide’s offensive attack with 237 yards and four touchdowns while junior running back Trent Richardson ran for 107 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. McCarron’s four touchdown passes ranks second all-time for Alabama. Senior wide receiver Marquis Maze set a new career-high with nine catches on the day, totaling 93 yards while redshirt freshman DeAndrew White hauled in three receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns.

While the Tide rolled over Vandy, head coach Nick Saban still sees room for improvement. “It’s always good to win in the league,” said Saban. “We obviously didn’t play our best football game, especially in the first half. We didn’t have the mental energy and intensity that we like to have, to play with the kind of consistency that we need to in order to improve as a team. I think it’s a challenge for everyone to say what do I want to accomplish, what is important to me, what kind of ownership am I willing to take for that, and am I going to be individually responsible to make sure I do my job well all the time. It doesn’t have anything to do with who you are playing. Vanderbilt has a great team. They are doing a good job with their team. They play hard and create a lot of problems for you on offense and do a lot of things to take advantage and play well with the guys they have. We played a lot better in the second half. AJ (McCarron) played pretty well, he didn’t turn the ball over which was really important. We made some adjustments and played a lot better in the second half. We certainly have a lot of things we need to improve on and we will continue to work on that. Everybody’s got to take the same ownership and responsibility to do that so we can get better as a team.”

 

Alabama’s defensive unit held the Commodores to 48 yards in the first half and 190 total. After taking a 14-0 lead into the locker room at the half, the Tide scored on its first two possessions to start the second half.

Alabama improves to 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in the Southeastern Conference.The #2 ranked Crimson Tide improves to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC. Next up the Tide travels to Oxford, Miss. to take on the Mississippi Rebels. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (CST) and will be televised by ESPN 2.

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