Posted by Jerry Hinnen
ALABAMA WON: It amounted to little more than a light scrimmage for the Tide, but Nick Saban's team handled its business in its typically professional manner, outgaining the Mean Green 586-169 and holding them without a point. And in the weekly "how good is AJ McCarron?" watch, the Tide starter under center went a solid 15-of-21 for 190 yards and -- most importantly -- no interceptions.
WHY ALABAMA WON: We'll go with the decades of winning tradition yielding the kind of multi-million dollar budget and five-star-packed roster that teams like North Texas can only dream of, first and foremost. But as for specific on-field advantages tonight, nowhere was the Tide more dominant than at the running back position. No matter who you play, two tailbacks collecting 328 yards on just 20 carries -- an average of 16.4 yards per-attempt -- is mighty impressive.
Those were the numbers for Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy, with both players breaking loose for emphatic long scores; Richardson went to the house from 58 and 71 yards, Lacy from 43 and 67. Richardson's 167 yards, 3 touchdownss, and 15.2 yard average would do a lot of good for his Heisman campaign ... but he likely could have done even more for it if Lacy's strong play didn't continue to demand a chunk of carries that might otherwise go to the starter.
WHEN ALABAMA WON: When Jeremy Shelley kicked a short field goal with 9:56 left in the first quarter. North Texas could have played for the better part of a month against the Tide starters without scoring.
WHAT ALABAMA WON: A healthy portion of rest for the starters, and only a week before the Tide open their SEC schedule against highly dangerous Arkansas. And maybe just that extra ounce of preparation and confidence for McCarron as he gets ready for the biggest game of his young career.