TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — – Bryce Young passed for three touchdowns and rushed for a fourth, Will Anderson Jr. scored on an interception return and No. 2 Alabama rolled to a 63-7 victory over Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.
The Crimson Tide (3-0) scored on offense, defense and special teams in the first six minutes and raced to a 28-0 first-quarter lead. It was a whirlwind start against the (1-2) a week after a much closer-than-expected victory over Texas cost Alabama the No. 1 ranking.
It wasn’t a seamless performance for either the Tide offense or Young, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
He completed 13 of 18 passes for 236 yards but also threw his first two interceptions of the season. He did run for a 7-yard score, where he spun near the goal line and dove across.
Anderson returned his first career interception 25 yards for a touchdown, one play after Young’s initial pick. The national sacks leader a year ago, he also got his second sack of the season.
Jahmyr Gibbs remained the Tide’s most versatile weapon. He gained 36 yards on nine carries and caught four passes for 65 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown when he juked one defender and shed a couple of downfield tackle attempts.
The Tide outgained Louisiana-Monroe 509-169.
Louisiana-Monroe: Managed to keep a horrid start from snowballing even more for awhile and actually was only outgained 132-125 before Alabama’s final drive of the second half. Coach Terry Bowden is now 3-7 against the Tide, with the first six meetings as coach of rival Auburn from 1993-98.
Alabama: This one won’t mean much in the big picture for Alabama’s season, but it started out as a nice, swift rebound from the Texas game. The Tide did have a lull before a pristine Young-directed TD drive in the final two minutes before the half.
Alabama had 262 punt return yards to break a 75-year-old game record set against LSU in 1947. Kool-Aid McKinstry flirted with scores on returns and Brian Branch produced one in the fourth quarter. McKinstry averaged 34 yards on his first four returns. Then Branch returned a punt 68 yards for a TD. Gibbs also had a 57-yard kick return.
Alabama’s receivers, for the most part, are having quiet seasons. The tight ends, however, came up big on the final first-half drive. Cameron Latu had three catches, including a 38-yarder when he reached over a defender downfield. Freshman reserve Amari Niblack then caught his first pass, a 15-yard TD.
Alabama hosts Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference opener.
Louisiana-Monroe hosts Louisiana.