Here are some quick thoughts on Alabama’s 35-17 win against Wisconsin in the Crimson Tide’s season-opener in Arlington, Texas.

What it means: Alabama’s offense is going to be just fine this season. There was a lot made about the amount of starters that the Crimson Tide lost on that side of the ball after last season, but the transition to a new group of players against what amounts to a pretty good Wisconsin defense was pretty painless. Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake turned in a solid performance behind an offensive line that was creating sizable holes most of the night. The Crimson Tide also impressed on the defensive side of the ball, confirming what was expected to be one of the best front sevens in college football was as good as advertised.

What I liked: Jake Coker’s performance, and really, the production of the entire offense. He missed some throws he probably should have made, such as a sure touchdown pass to ArDarius Stewart in the third quarter. But overall, his performance (15 of 21 for 213 yards and a touchdown) was very encouraging. He led Alabama on touchdown drives of 88 and 90 yards in the first half, showing a mastery of the playbook and an ability to make smart decisions to extend drives. Perhaps the most important thing was that he did not turn the ball over. If he’s able to maintain this level of production throughout the SEC schedule, there’s no reason the Crimson Tide can’t make a return trip to Atlanta at the end of the season to defend its championship.

What I didn’t like: The way that Alabama handled the final minutes of the first half. After a conservative decision to let the clock run down and punt, JK Scott shanked a punt and set the Badgers a prime scoring opportunity as the half drew to a close. Lucky for the Tide, Wisconsin missed a 34-yard field goal, allowing them to maintain a 14-7 halftime lead. The penalties (10 for 110 yards) were an issue that the coaching staff will want to clean up this week. Adam Griffith’s two missed field goals were not encouraging. I also didn’t care for the decision to bring in Cooper Bateman into the game during the third quarter. It wasn’t a matter of his performance once he was in the game, I just didn’t like the idea of messing with the flow that the offense had under Coker in a game that was still reasonably within reach at 28-10.

Who’s the man: Derrick Henry. The powerful junior running back had himself a day in the opener, rushing 13 times for 147 yards and three touchdowns (both career highs). His first two scores were of the long-distance variety, finding pay dirt from 37 and 56 yards out. He powered the third one in from the 2-yard line. It was a perfect display of his freaky combination of power and speed.

Key play: There were several candidates for this distinction, but I think Henry’s 56-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter was the biggest play of the game. Following a missed opportunity on a potential deep touchdown pass, Henry picked his teammates up with the long touchdown run to push the Crimson Tide lead to 21-7.

What’s next: The Crimson Tide heads back to Tuscaloosa to take on Middle Tennessee at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Sept. 12. The Blue Raiders are 1-0 after scoring 70 points in a Week 1 win over Jackson State. It is a expected to be what amounts to a tune-up game in advance of Alabama’s SEC opener against Ole Miss on Sept. 19. The Rebels were the only team that beat the Crimson Tide during the 2014 regular season.