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(Saturday, September 4th)
Final Score: (1) Alabama 48, San Jose State 3
Tuscaloosa, AL (Sports Network) - Eddie Lacy and Trent Richardson each rushed for a pair of touchdowns, and top-ranked Alabama began defense of its BCS national title with a 48-3 win over San Jose State.
Greg McElroy and A.J. McCarron each had a TD pass for the Crimson Tide (1-0), who were without two key players. Heisman Trophy winning running back Mark Ingram sat out after undergoing surgery on his left knee Tuesday. Defensive end Marcell Dareus was ruled ineligible for two games by the NCAA due to his dealings with sports agents.
McElroy connected on 13-of-15 passes for 218 yards, while McCarron finished 9-of-15 for 116 yards. Lacy rushed for 111 yards.
Julio Jones made a one-handed touchdown catch in the second quarter as the Crimson Tide rolled to a 31-3 halftime lead. Alabama, which had 591 yards of total offense, has a big game next Saturday by hosting current No. 19 Penn State.
"I think we are all starting to understand each other and understand communicating with each other. I think we can be a great unit. Now we have to get ready for a good Penn State team," Alabama free safety Robert Lester said.
Harrison Waid's first-quarter field goal provided the lone score for the Spartans (0-1), who are under the guidance of new head coach Mike MacIntyre and are coming off a 2-10 campaign.
Jordan La Secla completed 7-of-14 passes for 85 yards and was picked off once for the Spartans, who were limited to 175 yards of offense.
"One thing I noticed is that we're in pretty good shape," MacIntyre said. "We kept fighting the whole game. The fourth quarter was better than the third quarter. The third quarter wasn't very good of course. They kept fighting and there is not a tired guy in there. They fought as hard as they could, so I was impressed with our conditioning and how they're doing there. That's something we've been working on."
McElroy led the Tide to a touchdown on the opening eight-play, 71-yard drive. Richardson capped it with a four-yard TD run just 4:22 into the game.
"I'm just happy to be out there. It's not really a start for me," Richardson said. "I've been playing football my whole life. I don't call it a start. We've got a rotation going. It feels good to beat up on someone other than ourselves."
A 32-yard run by Brandon Rutley, combined with a 15-yard face mask penalty, set San Jose State up in Alabama territory. Harrison booted a 31-yard field goal with 7:26 left in the opening quarter.
Less than three minutes later, McElroy found Marquis Maze along the right sideline for a 48-yard TD pass and a 14-3 cushion.
Lacy fumbled the ball away into the end zone later in the first quarter, but the Tide gained a 21-3 lead in the opening minute of the second when Richardson broke off a 39-yard TD run up the middle.
The highlight of the night, though, came with 11:48 to go in the half. Jones took a pattern deep down the field. McCarron, a redshirt freshman, led him a bit too far, but Jones used his left hand to corral the ball as he landed on the goal line.
Waid hit the right upright on a 41-yard field goal try later in the second and Cade Foster capped the half by splitting the uprights from 41 yards out.
Lacy, another redshirt freshman, scored on a 37-yard run early in the third, Foster added a 24-yard field goal later in the period, and Lacy ran up the middle for a 10-yard score in the first minute of the fourth.
Alabama has compiled a 92-21-3 all-time record in season openers, including a nine-game winning streak...San Jose State's last victory over a nationally- ranked opponent came in the 2000 season when the Spartans defeated No. 9 TCU featuring LaDainian Tomlinson, 27-24, in Spartan Stadium. The last time San Jose State defeated a nationally-ranked foe on the road was in 1980, against Baylor...San Jose State is 0-4 all-time against Southeastern Conference opponents.
09/05 00:09:19 ET