Mark Ingram. No doubt this week. The sophomore running back demolished his old rushing high with 246 rushing yards carries. Without Ingram, the Tide offense struggled to find any footing on a night that quarterback Greg McElroy accounted for four turnovers and appeared confused for a second straight week.
The 24-yard run Ingram picked up to start its final drive showed Alabama was going to ride it’s horse and wasn’t afraid to tell everyone it was doing so. His 5-yard touchdown run that capped the drive salted away the win and will certainly intensify the Heisman Trophy talk.
Going to the Wildcat in the final Alabama possession wore down the clock and confused the Gamecock defense. The drive, which ended with a more traditional McElroy to Ingram pitch, ended any real hope of an upset as a two-touchdown lead with Alabama’s defense is too much to overcome.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“Mark did as fine of a job today as anybody I’ve ever been around and that includes Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown and some really good ones. He was fantastic.” — Nick Saban
BY THE NUMBERS
1: More interceptions (2) than completions (1) for Greg McElroy in the first quarter.
77: Yards Mark Barron ran, weaving in and out of traffic, to score the game’s first touchdown on an interception.
0: Punt return yards Javier Arenas was able to record toward his quest for the NCAA record. The senior was injured and didn’t play.
16: Total yards credited to South Carolina before Alshon Jeffery hauled in a 52-yard pass late in the second quarter.
21: Combined quarterback incompletions at halftime as Stephen Garcia and Greg McElroy combined for 10 successful passes on 31 tries.
0: Receptions by Alabama receivers in the first half as three running backs and a tight end caught all the Alabama passes.
10.2: Average rushing yards for Mark Ingram on each of his 24 runs as the sophomore hit a career high for the second straight week.