Colorado State outing showed that Alabama must find a pass rush

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On the ground, Jalen Hurts rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown in 11 carries while Bo Scarbrough added 66 yards and a touchdown in 12 attempts.

"I'm happy he's back in the end zone", Hurts said.

Alabama and Vanderbilt will play at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday.

While still nursing a bit of shoulder soreness last season, Foster managed just five catches for 55 yards but was never a major part of the offense, which became predicated on the Hurts and Calvin Ridley.

Alabama flirted with the idea of utilizing senior middle linebacker Rashaan Evans (groin) against Colorado State, but opted instead to give the veteran one more game's rest.

The Crimson Tide (3-0) dominated early and emphatically answered a comeback attempt before outlasting the Rams (2-2). Senior defensive back Hootie Jones and junior defensive back Ronnie Harrison each had interceptions to anchor the defense. He also went over 2,000 yards in his career.

The Rams got on the board early in the second quarter after kicker Wyatt Bryan connected on a 27-yard field goal to make it 17-3. Another three receivers averaged seven yards or more.

"This is a very good overall team and a team that deserves to be in the Top 25". That streak began last October with a 35-17 downing of Tennessee State and included double-digit defeats last November of Ole Miss (38-17) and Tennessee (45-34). Hurts delivered his best all-around game of the season. Mason said Saturday night that the Commodores were "trying to get all these monkeys off our back".

The Alabama defense was an area of mild concern before the season, largely from the perspective of "can this team win a national title with this unit?" rather than concerns for normal teams like, "will we be able to field a competent second cornerback this season?"

Lealoa's comment made the rounds Sunday on social media and with several media outlets, but Crimson Tide players were not making a big deal about it Monday.

Two big scoring plays helped fuel Alabama's offense, and just when CSU's offense had started to find a groove, a pair of interceptions by Nick Stevens set up the Tide to open up the lead.

Saban wondered aloud Monday that if players walked into such a meeting concerned and came out happy, would it have served its goal? "For three quarters, we played pretty well Saturday night". "But once we did, I think we showed what we could do. We came out strong, and we wanted to keep that up all four quarters", senior corner Levi Wallace said. "Understanding what you need to hear, what needs to be said whether it comes from a player or coach", Holcombe said.

Evans wasn't alone in his absence, with fellow injured linebackers Anfernee Jennings (ankle) and Dylan Moses (unknown) both sitting out Saturday's game.

Alabama tight end Morris Forristall left with what Saban said could be a season-ending knee injury. Alabama has not lost a turnover since last November's Iron Bowl. Mercer (1-2), which only resumed its football program five years ago and plays a division down in the Southern Conference, gave the Tigers all they could handle, much to a chagrin of a disgruntled crowd at Jordan-Hare Stadium - many of whom didn't bother returning to their seats after a lackluster first half in which the Southeastern Conference powerhouse led only 10-3. Vanderbilt's last win over the Tide in Nashville was a 14-10 upset in 1969.

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