Alabama’s quarterback tandem of Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts combined to throw for 321 yards and six touchdown passes to lead the No. 1 Crimson Tide to a 57-7 victory over Arkansas State Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Despite reports earlier Saturday that Hurts would redshirt this season, the junior entered the game in the first quarter and wound up completing 7 of 9 attempts for 93 yards and a pair of scoring passes.
The Crimson Tide (2-0) dominated from the start, overwhelming and outmaneuvering the Red Wolves (1-1) to take a 40-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. In the first half, the Crimson Tide gained 396 yards, more than double Arkansas State’s 163.
Alabama jumped out to a 7-0 lead when sophomore Tagovailoa hit fellow sophomore wide receiver Jerry Jeudy for a 58-yard touchdown just 1:41 into the first quarter.
Tagovailoa threw two more touchdown passes in the quarter — a 31-yarder to sophomore wideout Henry Ruggs III and a 41-yard pass to sophomore DeVonta Smith — to give Alabama a 19-0 lead at the end of the quarter as kicker Austin Jones missed two extra points.
Hurts replaced Tagovailoa on Alabama’[s fifth possession and led the Tide from their own 16 to the Arkansas State 4 before fumbling the ball away.
But in the second quarter, Hurts engineered two drives that ended in touchdown passes to junior tight end Irv Smith Jr. and Jeudy. Defensive back Saivion Smith later intercepted a Justice Hansen pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown for the 40-point halftime lead.
The only thing that went awry in the first half — and on the day — for Alabama was the kicking of Jones, a graduate transfer from Temple who last season made all 23 extra-point attempts and 10 of 12 field goals on the year.
But in five quarters with Alabama, he has missed three extra points. After the first quarter, freshman Joseph Bulovas took over the kicking duties and made all five extra-point attempts and hit his lone field goal, a 39-yarder.
Arkansas State scored its only points of the day on the first drive of the second half when the senior Hansen led an 8-play, 75-yard drive and found Kendrick Edwards for a 23-yard completion and a touchdown.
—Field Level Media