By Scott Latta
UA Media Relations
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ?? Alabama couldn't hold an early 7-0 lead over Louisiana-Monroe Saturday, turning the ball over four times in a 21-14 loss to the Warhawks at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The loss drops Alabama's record to 6-5 (4-3 SEC) with one regular season game to go.
"We did all the things in this football game that will get you beat regardless of who you play," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. Alabama took an early 7-0 lead over the Warhawks after taking the opening drive of the game 80 yards in seven plays. On the drive, junior quarterback John Parker Wilson found senior Keith Brown on a screen pass for 35 yards and then found him for a 17-yarder in the end zone for the score. Louisiana-Monroe scored its first touchdown of the game on a one-yard run from tailback Calvin Dawson off an interception return by Quintez Secka, his second of the half to the Alabama 1.
Alabama responded with a seven-play, 63-yard drive that was capped by a 12-yard touchdown run from freshman tailback Terry Grant to put the Tide back on top 14-7 with 12:42 left in the first half. Louisiana-Monroe's final two touchdowns came on a 13-yard run from tailback Frank Gooden before the half and an 11-yard touchdown pass from Kinsmon Lancaster to Marty Humphrey in the third quarter. After two first-half interceptions, Wilson rebounded in the second half, going 11-of-18 for 139 yards. Brown, one of 22 seniors playing their final home game, was Alabama's leading receiver, catching six passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, Grant had 21 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown.
"I was proud of the way [Wilson] responded and the way he played," Saban said. "He competed out there today. I think we just need to do a better job of putting things together so that we can develop confidence in our passing game."
Defensively, Alabama was led by a 14-tackle performance from senior Darren Mustin, who also had two tackles-for-loss. Senior Wallace Gilberry had 10 tackles and a sack.
"We went out there today, and even though we moved the ball up and down the field at times and played decently on defense and got a stop," Saban said, "we gave them too many opportunities that we didn't overcome ourselves."
Alabama will travel to Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn next Saturday, Nov. 24, to face the Tigers (6-4). Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.