University of Alabama

Alabama football: Keys to Crimson Tide's victory over Tennessee-Chattanooga

KEY PLAYER

Javier Arenas had the ideal Javier Arenas game. An interception was overshadowed only by his 66-yard punt return for a touchdown. It was his first of the season but seventh of his career — a new SEC record. He made one man miss, but then it was smooth sailing into the end zone for the Tide’s fourth touchdown in what was already a blowout.

KEY MOMENT

The day Alabama put Chattanooga on the schedule. There was no tension at any point in Saturday’s game as Alabama manhandled the Football Bowl Subdivision opponent in every facet of the game.

KEY DECISION

Pulling the starters after halftime was a smart move. Leading 35-0, there was nothing Alabama could have gained by playing the top guys after the break. An injury would have been a complete disaster as the Tide prepares for Friday’s game at Auburn and the SEC Championship Game a week after that.

QUOTE OF THE GAME

“He was kicking the ball real awkward. On top of that, the sun caught me. I saw the ball at the last second. I’m like, ’What the hell, just catch it and go.’ I caught it and went.” — Javier Arenas on 66-yard punt return for touchdown.

BY THE NUMBERS

1: Alabama receivers with a catch for first 25 minutes of game. Julio Jones had all three before Colin Peek hauled in a McElroy pass.

2: Quarters played by most Alabama starters as the reserves got a crack at Chattanooga after halftime.

5: Games since Alabama scored a first-quarter touchdown before it scored three in Saturday’s win.

66: Alabama players who participated in the blow out win.

17: Total yardage surrendered by the Alabama backups in the second half compared to the 67 given up by the starters in the first half.

9: Games out of the 11 Alabama has played this season in which a Tide defender picked off a pass after the three it totaled Saturday.

74: Percentage of Alabama total yards that came on rushing yards (313 to 109).

26: Alabama’s first downs.

5: Chattanooga’s first downs.

422: Alabama total yards.

84: Chattanooga’s total yards.

5.9: Alabama’s average yards per play.

1.8: Chattanooga’s average yards per play.

0: Chattanooga’s red-zone scoring chances.

Michael Casagrande

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