The Alabama Crimson Tide continued their offensive onslaught in a dominating Week 2 win against Arkansas State, coming away with a 57-7 victory Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

While the scoreboard indicates a near-flawless game by the Tide, they’re still far from a perfect team, especially on special teams, which haven’t been so special

So, how did the Tide grade out against the Red Wolves? Here’s a position-by-position breakdown:


Boy, it’s hard to be disappointed with the results here. Once again, the Tide employed both Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, and each was dominant. Tagovailoa got the start and, again, put on an aerial display of his immense arm talent, showing great accuracy and velocity, with an especially polished deep ball. He finished the game completing 13 of 19 passes for 228 yards with 4 touchdowns and no picks. Hurts also flashed his ability and took advantage of his time on the field, completing 7 of 9 passes for 93 with 2 TDs and rushing for another 32 yards. The one question you leave this game with is how much longer will they continue to play both quarterbacks? Grade: A

Running backs

Alabama as a team ran the ball 44 times for 278 yards, averaging 6.3 per carry, so it was obviously a good day. Najee Harris and Damien Harris received the bulk of the carries, and it turned out to be a really big day for Najee, as he carried the ball 13 times for 135 yards and a TD. Damien Harris was his usual solid self, carrying 12 times for 61 yards, though failing to find the end zone. The Harris guys are probably the best running back tandem in the SEC and they looked good in their final tuneup before SEC play begins next week at Ole Miss. Grade: A

Wide receivers/tight ends

Once again, the Tide distributed the ball very well among their talented group of receivers, with eight  different players catching a pass. It wasn’t so long ago that the Tide’s passing attack solely focused on one guy (Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley), but with Tagovailoa driving the bus, a defense can’t just focus on one guy anymore. Jerry Jeudy had the best day of the bunch, catching 4 passes for 87 yards with 2 TDs. This group continues to look fast, athletic and dynamic, with multiple guys capable of taking the top off a secondary. Grade: A

Offensive line

You rarely accumulate 599 yards of offense in a game unless the offensive line is downright dominant. From what I saw, they only gave up 1 sack and just three rushes were stopped behind the line of scrimmage. Ultimately, they pretty much had their way with the Arkansas State front seven, looking powerful while drive-blocking and fluid and swift in pass protection. Nothing to complain about here. Grade: A

Defensive line

Considering the fact that the defense held Arkansas State to just 7 points, there’s not a whole lot to complain about, but Arkansas State was somewhat effective running the ball on the vaunted Tide defensive line. They finished the game with 31 attempts for 173 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per carry, which isn’t great for Alabama by any measure. Also somewhat surprisingly, the defensive line only brought down Arkansas State quarterbacks once, with Isaiah Buggs coming up with a first quarter sack, but nothing after that. They did a pretty good job pressuring the Red Wolves overall, but it wasn’t a perfect game up front for the Tide. Grade: B


The linebackers were solid, but they gave up a lot of passes underneath and they didn’t get the best run fits. Dylan Moses had a nice sack in the first quarter and enjoyed a solid game, but the unit as a whole still appears to be coming together. While Nick Saban is probably unhappy with the number of short passes underneath, you have to remember that no one is actually going to beat the Tide that way. It wasn’t the best game from the linebackers, but they were solid overall. Grade: C-plus

Defensive backs

It’s evident the secondary is still meshing together and feeling each other out, but they continue to make progress. Alabama gave up 218 yards through the air, but much of that was, as previously mentioned, short passes underneath. The Red Wolves were able to find some success in both the short and intermediate passing game, but were dreadfully inconsistent, and the Tide refused to give up any big plays over the top. Saivion Smith had a very nice 38-yard interception return for a touchdown and Xavier McKinney nearly had another. The secondary will have its  first big test next week against a very talented group of receivers from Ole Miss. Grade: B-plus

Special teams

It was a bad day for the special teams as Austin Jones missed two extra-point attempts and ace return man Jaylen Waddle had minus-6 return yards, while fumbling on one and nearly fumbling another. Punter Skyler DeLong didn’t have the best day, either. Joseph Bulovas replaced Jones at kicker and was better, making a field and all give extra points, but there’s definitely concern here moving forward. Grade: D-minus


The defense was far from perfect in this game and I’m sure Saban is less than thrilled, but at the end of the day, they gave up just 7 points to an offense that’s considered one of the best nationally among the Group of 5 schools. This is a very good defense and they’re only going to get better. Offensively, I’m not sure who in the world is going to be able to slow them down with Tagovailoa under center. I know they’ve only played two games and neither were against elite defenses, but they clearly look like a juggernaut. Special teams is a legitimate concern — there’s no denying that. The return game should be fine, but they have to resolve their issues at kicker. All in all, it was a very good day for Alabama and while they still have some work to do, it’s no wonder why they’re considered the best team in the country. Grade:  A-minus