Live Updates: Western Carolina at No. 5 Alabama

Joey Blackwell

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It's Senior Day in Bryant-Denny Stadium, and the No. 5 Crimson Tide and the Catamounts are ready to play.

Today's matchup marks the first game since Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went down with a season-ending hip injury against Mississippi State. Redshirt-sophomore is slated to start in today's matchup.

Along with Jones at quarterback, the defensive line is expected to be shallow, with Raekwon Davis suffering a sprained ankle against the Bulldogs. D.J. Dale and Phidarian Mathis are also expected to be sidelined with injuries today, so it will be interesting to see who head coach Nick Saban rotates on the defensive line.

Check in throughout the game for live updates and analysis of No. 5 Alabama and Western Carolina in the last game of the regular season in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Pregame

  • Today's weather is expected to be cloudy with a slight chance of showers. The current temperature is 61 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Lee Hendrick's referee crew with be umpiring today's matchup.
  • As expected, senior defensive lineman Raekwon Davis is not dressed out for today's game. He is on the sidelines with the rest of the players, but is in street clothes.
  • Mac Jones was just announced as the starting quarterback on the Jumbotron, and the crowd responded accordingly.
  • Tua Tagovailoa posted this Tweet earlier this morning. Tagovailoa is planning on attending today's game, although he has yet to be seen.
    - Seniors being honored at today's Senior Day: C. Adams, Shyheim Carter, William Cooper, Raekwon Davis, Trevon Diggs, Mac Hereford, Jalen Jackson, Anfernee Jennings, Sean Kelly, Terrell Lewis, De'Marquise Lockridge, Jared Mayden, Tevita Musika, John Parker, Daniel Powell, Taylor Wilson, Matt Womack.
  • Seniors being honored at today's Senior Day: C. Adams, Shyheim Carter, William Cooper, Raekwon Davis, Trevon Diggs, Mac Hereford, Jalen Jackson, Anfernee Jennings, Sean Kelly, Terrell Lewis, De'Marquise Lockridge, Jared Mayden, Tevita Musika, John Parker, Daniel Powell, Taylor Wilson, Matt Womack.
  • Tua Tagovailoa has just arrived at the game being carted on in a golf cart. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

First Quarter

  • Waddle deep to receive the kick, breaks free to the 43-yard line. Alabama ball, 1st and 10 at the 43.
  • Najee Harris rushes for a first down. One thing to note is that Western Carolina is ranked 124th in the FCS in rushing defense, which is last place.
  • After being stopped in the red zone, Joseph Bulovas kicks a 29-yard field goal. Alabama 3, Western Carolina 0 with 11:44 remaining in the first quarter.
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Tua Tagovailoa and Henry Ruggs III sit in a golf cart on the sidelines during Saturday's game.
  • The Catamounts call a fair catch, Western Carolina will start at their own 25.
  • Musika, Barmore and Young get the start at defensive line for the Crimson Tide.
  • Adams passes the ball to Bardall for a 28-yard gain. 1st and 10 at the UA 46.
  • Interception by Xavier McKinney. Crimson Tide football at the UA 21.
  • Najee Harris rushes 22 yards to the UA 46.
  • Touchdown Alabama. Mac Jones passes the ball to the right to DeVonta Smith, who broke away with his speed for the 57-yard touchdown reception. Extra point by Bulovas is good. Alabama 10, WCU 0 with 9:00 left in the first quarter.
  • WCU's Ferguson makes the fair catch at the WCU 7, 1st and 10 Catamounts at their own 25.
  • After a stop at the line of scrimmage, Alabama gets called for a facemask. 1st and 10 WCU at their own 46.
  • WCU quarterback Tyrie Adams rushes for 11 yards and a first down.
  • Xavier McKinney gets his second interception of the game, but this time takes it all the way for a 81-yard pick six. Extra point by Bulovas is good. Alabama 17, WCU 0 with 5:33 remaining in the first quarter.
  • Bulovas kicks it to the WCU 4, fair catch by Ferguson. 1st and 10 from the WCU 25.
  • Alabama defensive line is holding well so far in the first quarter. With 4:30 remaining, the line has only allowed 21 yards rushing.
  • Anfernee Jennings sacks Adams for a loss of eight yards. 4th and 11, WCU punts to the UA 2. 1st and 10 Alabama from the UA 2-yard line.
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Second Quarter

  • 4th and 7, Ty Perine is back to punt for Alabama out of its own red zone. Ball is downed by Alabama at the UA 38. 1st and 10 WCU.
  • After a wacky play involving Adams completing a pass to himself, Xavier McKinney forces Adams to fumble the ball, recovered by Patrick Surtain. 1st and 10 Alabama from its own 37.
  • Mac Jones completes a 44-yard completion to Jerry Jeudy. 1st and 10 from the WCU 19.
  • 1-yard rush by Brian Robinson gives Alabama the first down inside the 10.
  • Touchdown Alabama. Brian Robinson rushes to the right for the 5-yard score. Extra point by Bulovas is good. Alabama 24, WCU 0 with 11:29 remaining in the second quarter.
  • Lauren Sisler for SEC Network did an interview on the sidelines of the game with Tua Tagovailoa. See video in tweet below:
  • Bulovas kicks it off for Alabama, Ferguson fair-catches it at the WCU 13. 1st and 10 Catamounts from their own 25.
  • Alabama forces WCU to punt. The ball is kicked out of bounds at the UA 35. 1st and 10 Crimson Tide.
  • Mac Jones passes to DeVonta Smith for a 14-yard reception, first down Alabama.
  • Mac Jones passes deep to Jaylen Waddle for a 37-yard reception. 1st and 10 Alabama at the WCU 12.
  • Touchdown Alabama. Najee Harris with a 12-yard touchdown reception from Mac Jones. Extra point by Bulovas is good. Alabama 31, WCU 0 with 7:36 remaining in the first half.
  • The Catamounts call for a fair catch and will start on their own 25. 
  • WCU's Cosenke catches his third pass of the day for a pick up of 14 yards. First down Catamounts. 
  • On third and 11, Adams is sacked by Christian Barmore for a nine-yard loss. WCU will punt. Alabama takes over at their own 46-yard line. 
  • Waddle catches a pass from Jones on first down and takes it 54 yards to the end zone for a Crimson Tide touchdown. PAT is good from Bulovas. Alabama 38, WCU 0 with 4:08 remaining in the first half. 
  • UA's Bulovas kicks it to the WCU 13, fair catch by the Catamounts' Nate Mullen. 1st and 10 from the WCU 25.
  • WCU quarterback Adams has been replaced by Bubba Williamson.
  • Williamson is sacked by UA's Byron Young. 3rd and 16 from the WCU 24.
  • Waddle returns the WCU punt 49 yards to the WCU 3-yard line.
  • UA's Brian Robinson fumbles the ball into the end zone, recover by the Catamounts. 1st and 10 WCU from its own 20-yard line.
  • Adams is back in the game at quarterback for WCU.
  • Adams is sacked by UA's Justin Eboigbe for a 1-yard loss.
  • Adams kneels the ball on 4th down, ending the first half. Alabama leads Western Carolina 38-0 at the half.
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Halftime Notes

  • At the break, Mac Jones is 9-11 with 253 yards and three touchdowns. His current passer rating is at 365.
  • The Crimson Tide have a combined total of 59 yards. Najee Harris leads the rushing attack with 44 yards. Brian Robinson, Jr., has 11 yards rushing, and also has the game's lone rushing touchdown.
  • In receiving, Jaylen Waddle leads the team with 101 receiving yards and a touchdown. DeVonta Smith also has 79 yards and a touchdown. Najee Harris has a touchdown reception of his own, with his lone reception going for a 12-yard score.
  • On defense, Shane Lee leads the Crimson Tide with six tackles. Xavier McKinney has two interceptions, with one being a pick six. McKinney also has a forced fumble.

Third Quarter

  • After leaving the game early to head to the locker room before the half, Tagovailoa has returned on his cart with a trainer. He's parked next to the exercise bike at midfield.
  • Bulovas' punt goes through the back of the end zone. 1st and 10 WCU at its own 25.
  • Jared Mayden intercepts the first pass from scrimmage of the third quarter. 1st and 10 Alabama from the WCU 27-yard line.
  • Touchdown Alabama. Najee Harris rushes around the left end for the 3-yard score. Extra points by Bulovas is good. Alabama 45, WCU 0 with 13:41 remaining in the third quarter.
  • Bulovas kicks the ball to the WCU 6, fair caught by WCU's Ferguson. 1st and 10 WCU from its own 25.
  • Mayden catches his second interception of the game. 1st and 10 Alabama at the WCU 32.
  • Taulia Tagovailoa comes into the game at quarterback for Alabama.
  • Touchdown Alabama. Taulia Tagovailoa throws the ball in the flat to DeVonta Smith, who breaks away for the 15-yard touchdown. Extra point by Bulovas is good. Alabama 52, WCU 0 with 10:32 remaining in the third quarter.
  • The touchdown marks Taulia Tagovailoa's first career touchdown at Alabama.
  • Bulovas kicks it off from the 50-yard line, ball floats through the back of the end zone for the touchback. WCU ball at its own 25.
  • Waddle returns the punt to the UA 42, blindside block called on Alabama. 1st and 10 Alabama from its own 27.
  • Keilan Robinson is in at running back for the Crimson Tide.
  • Taulia Tagovailoa completes a pass to Tyrell Shavers for 20 yards. First down at the UA 48.
  • Touchdown Alabama. Keilan Robinson breaks free for the 46-yard score. Extra point by Bulovas is good. Alabama 59, WCU 0 with 6:02 remaining in the third quarter.
  • Tua Tagovailoa is heading to the locker room early. The crowd cheered as he smiled and waved goodbye.
  • WCU's Nate Mullen fair-catches the kickoff at the Catamount's 11. 1st and 10 WCU at the 25.
  • WCU's Tyrie Adams rushes past Alabama defenders to the 45 for a 20-yard gain.
  • Alabama has an injured player on the field. Defensive lineman Christian Barmore is down. Medical staff is on the field.
  • Barmore is up and walking unassisted with a slight limp, favoring his right leg. He is now headed to the medical tent on the sideline.
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Fourth Quarter

  • WCU scores its first points of the game with a 38-yard field goal by Julian Pletz. Alabama 59, WCU 3 with 14:56 remaining in the ball game.
  • Najee Harris is the first player in 20 years to have a rushing and a receiving touchdown in three-straight games. Harris also has multiple touchdowns in five consecutive games.
  • Keilan Robinson rushes up the middle and breaks loose for a 20-yard game to the WCU 43.
  • Jerome Ford has come into the game at running back for Alabama.
  • Touchdown Alabama. Jerome Ford rushes around the right corner for the 6-yard score. Extra point by Bulovas is good. Alabama 66, Western Carolina 3. 8:13 remaining in the game.
  • Bulovas kicks the ball of to the WCU 5, fair caught by WCU's Ferguson. 1st and 10 WCU from its own 25.
  • WCU goes three-and-out and is forced to punt.
  • Punt by Dickerson goes out of bounds at the UA 33-yard line. 1st and 10 Alabama.
  • De'Marquise Lockridge in at running back for the Crimson Tide.
  • After two rushes for a total of 11 yards, Lockridge is replaced by Chadarius Townsend.
  • Taulia Tagovailoa has been replaced at quarterback by Paul Tyson.
  • Alabama converts on fourth down with a 3-yard rush by Townsend.
  • Tyson under center kneels the ball twice in a row to end the game. Final score: Alabama 66, Western Carolina 3.
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