Instant Analysis: Alabama 40, FAU 7
September, 22, 2012
By Greg Ostendorf | ESPN.com
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Florida Atlantic may have thought Alabama ‘ain’t what people think,’ but the Crimson Tide proved why they are still the No. 1 team in the country with a dominating 40-7 win over the Owls on Saturday.
The offense finished with more than 500 total yards as UA quarterback AJ McCarron was 15-of-25 passing for 212 and three touchdowns, and running back Eddie Lacy carried the ball 15 times for 106 yards in the first half alone.
The late touchdown by Florida Atlantic was the first score the defense had allowed since the season opener against Michigan. Surprisingly, Alabama didn’t force a turnover in the game after forcing five the week before.
It was over when: Florida Atlantic defensive end Cory Henry didn’t do the Owls any favors when he ran his mouth before the game, and it took just three plays for Alabama's McCarron to connect with junior wide receiver Kenny Bell on an 85-yard touchdown pass to put the Tide on the board. There was no coming back from the early blow.
Game ball goes to: Lacy looked like himself again last week in the big win over Arkansas, and he followed it up with another solid performance on Saturday, carrying the ball 15 times for 106 yards in the first half. Although he didn’t get in the end zone, Lacy showed the burst, the power and the elusiveness that makes him great. He even threw in his patented spin move.
Stat of the game: Through three quarters, Alabama’s defense held Florida Atlantic to 41 total yards and one first down. The Owls put together a touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter but still finished with just 110 yards in the game.
Unsung hero: Alabama’s offensive line is considered one of the best units in the nation, but it still doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. On Saturday, all four Tide running backs averaged more than 6 yards per carry. As a team, Alabama rushed for 256 yards on 47 carries.
What it means for Alabama: The final score may have seemed a bit surprising given what the Tide did to Arkansas last week, but all three units looked sharp, and more importantly, the game gave Alabama a chance to play some of its reserves and get them game experience. It’s a long season, and it’s important to be prepared in case of injury.
What it means for Florida Atlantic: The Owls never had a chance, but the final score was closer than what many people expected. The positives for Florida Atlantic were ball security and its red zone defense, and it’s something to build on for the future.