Oct. 8, 2011
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Sophomore quarterback AJ McCarron passed for 237 yards and four touchdowns while junior running back Trent Richardson ran for 107 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown as the No. 2 Alabama football team defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 34-0 on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide improves to 6-0 overall (3-0 in the SEC) while Vanderbilt falls to 3-2 and 0-2 versus SEC opponents.
Senior wide receiver Marquis Maze set a new career-high with nine catches on the day, totaling 93 yards, while redshirt freshman receiver DeAndrew White hauled in three receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns. The Crimson Tide defense held Vanderbilt to 190 total yards, including just 48 in the second half. Moreover, Alabama recorded two interceptions and did not allow the Commodores to cross midfield after halftime.
"It's always good to win in the league," UA head coach Nick Saban said. "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. 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."
The Crimson Tide opened up the scoring on its second possession of the game, taking 10 plays to go 77 yards culminating in a McCarron to Brad Smelley six-yard touchdown strike to make the score 7-0. Alabama would get on the scoreboard again late in the second quarter as McCarron found White in the back of the end zone from five yards out to up the UA lead to 14-0.
After forcing a Vanderbilt punt to open the second half, the Crimson Tide marched 94 yards in 12 plays, capping the drive off with a Richardson touchdown run from one yard out to make the score 21-0. Following a Commodores punt on the ensuing possession, Alabama needed nine plays to move 81 yards, as McCarron connected with White from 39 yards out on a 3rd-and-7 play to make the score 27-0. For the game, Alabama converted 12-of-17 third downs while allowing Vanderbilt to just 1-of-10 on third down.
McCarron would notch his fourth touchdown pass of the game at the outset of the fourth quarter, finding Darius Hanks from 17 yards to make it 34-0. The score was the first on the year for Hanks, who finished the game with a season-high five catches for 60 yards.
McCarron's four touchdown passes versus the Commodores equaled his season total heading into the game and are the second most ever in a game by a Crimson Tide quarterback. Furthermore, White set a new career-high with his two touchdown receptions while Richardson went over the 100 yard plateau for the fifth consecutive game.
The shutout marks the 28th time the Alabama defense has held an opponent to ten points or less under Saban and is the second time the Tide has shutout an opponent this year. Alabama is allowing just 5.2 points per game at home this season.
The Crimson Tide will travel to Oxford, Miss., next Saturday where it will take on the Mississippi Rebels. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (CST) and will be televised by ESPN2.