A basic barometer for the University of Alabama football program is did it improve this week and with this game?

There’s no doubt that it did on both sides of the ball. We’re not sure about special teams because freshman JK Scott was able to take the day off.

Here are the five takeaways from Alabama’s 41-0 victory over Florida Atlantic:

  • Alabama might have two quarterbacks
    Blake Sims passed for 214 yards and Jake Coker threw for 202. The 416 yards were second in Alabama history for passing yards in a game behind the 484 against Auburn in 1969. Because Lane Kiffin can use the very differently there’s no reason to believe we won’t see both again next week against Southern Miss.

  • Eddie Jackson made huge difference at cornerback
    FAU went after junior Cyrus Jones more and only had a couple of receptions on Jackson, but one resulted in a fumble that the Crimson Tide recovered.

  • Amari Cooper might be the best wide receiver in college football
    After having 97 receiving yards in the first quarter, Cooper tied the Alabama single-game record for receptions with 13, and set the program mark for catches in consecutive games at 25. If he has another 100-yard performance against Southern Miss he’ll tie DJ Hall’s record for consecutive 100-yard receiving games (five in 2006).

  • The defense needs experience in the middle Not having C.J. Mosley any more, or Trey DePriest for the season opener, really hurt the defense against West Virginia. The front seven can be better, but things went a lot more smoothly with DePriest back from a one-game suspension.

  • A lot of young players are gaining confidence: Freshman Rashaan Evans showed a terrific burst and had his first career sack. Tony Brown looked better at cornerback. Redshirt freshman Tyren Jones had a couple of nice carries. Redshirt freshman wide receiver ArDarius Stewart had three catches for 63 yards. Sophomore Chris Black made his first start at wide receiver … “Someone had to step up,” Black said. “I think I played great, but there’s always room for improvement.”