Football Bowl Subdivision
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     === Top-ranked Alabama uses late surge to dispatch Colorado State ===
 
 Tuscaloosa,  AL  (Sports Network) -  After outlasting Johnny Manziel and Texas
 A&M in college football's fierce new rivalry last week, No. 1 Alabama welcomed
 back an old friend in Saturday's home opener.
 
 It  wasn't exactly  an offensive  performance  that would've  made its  former
 coordinator proud.
 
 Kenyan Drake ran for a touchdown and blocked a punt in the Crimson Tide's 31-6
 victory over Colorado State in Jim McElwain's return to Tuscaloosa.
 
 McElwain  is in  his second season as  head coach of the Rams after serving as
 offensive coordinator at Alabama from 2008-11 and winning two national titles.
 
 The  overmatched  Rams  don't  have the  offensive  juggernaut  at  McElwain's
 disposal like he had at Alabama, but the Crimson Tide (3-0) failed to move the
 chains  on each  of their  first  eight third-down  attempts against  Colorado
 State's stingy defense. Alabama finished 2-for-10 on third down.
 
 "I  think the guys on the other sideline have earned some respect for Colorado
 State Rams and how hard we played the game," McElwain said.
 
 The  Rams  (1-3) trailed just  17-6 before Alabama pulled  away with a pair of
 scores in the  fourth. A.J. McCarron's 30-yard TD strike to DeAndrew White and
 Blake Sims' 14-yard TD flip to Chris Black sealed the win for the hosts.
 
 "Offensively,  we couldn't run the ball with any consistency or effectiveness.
 Even  though we did a pretty good job passing, it had to be four or five times
 that  we moved the  ball down the field and got just outside the red zone, and
 we  had something happen like throw an interception, miss a field goal, make a
 field goal, get sacked. Just too many negative plays," Alabama head coach Nick
 Saban said.
 
 McCarron was 20-of-26 for 258 yards with a touchdown and interceptions for the
 Crimson Tide, who outgained the Rams just 248-227 while running 17 fewer plays
 through the first three quarters.
 
 T.J.  Yeldon  was suspended  for the  opening quarter  and finished with seven
 carries for 49 yards for Alabama.
 
 Starting  cornerbacks Deion  Belue and  Jarrick Williams,  backup safety  Nick
 Perry and wide receiver Kevin Norwood didn't play due to injuries.
 
 Garrett Grayson was 24-of-38 for 228 yards and Joe Hansley hauled in six balls
 for  82 yards for Colorado State, which wore a special logo on its uniforms in
 recognition of the flood victims in the state.
 
 Alabama  missed a field  goal and punted on its first two touches before Drake
 capped  an 8-play, 84-yard  march with a 3-yard TD plunge late in the first to
 open the scoring.
 
 Drake's blocked punt early in the second led to a Dillon Lee 15-yard scoop and
 score  and Foster's 46-yard field goal gave the Crimson Tide a 17-0 cushion at
 the break.
 
 Bernard  Blake intercepted  McCarron on  Alabama's first  touch of  the third,
 which  led to a  Jared Roberts 45-yard field goal to get the Rams on the board
 midway through the stanza.
 
 Roberts' 31-yard field goal on the Rams' next sequence got them within 17-6 in
 the final stages of the third.
 
 Colorado State then forced a three-and-out, but Trey DePriest forced a Grayson
 fumble  on the  first play of the  Rams' next drive and McCarron found White a
 play later for a 30-yard score to give the hosts some breathing room.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Alabama  outgained  Colorado state  338-279 ... Colorado  State was 4-of-15 on
 third  down ... The Crimson Tide committed just two penalties for 15 yards ...
 Alabama hosts Ole Miss next Saturday.
 
 
 09/22 01:09:10 ET