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Notebook: Alabama Running Game Sees First 100-Plus Yard Rusher of 2021

The Crimson Tide running backs averaged 6.7 yards per rush and totaled 219 yards on the ground.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It wasn't Brian Robinson Jr., nor was it Jase McClellan. It wasn't even Trey Sanders.

No, on Saturday night inside a packed Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama running back Roydell Williams was the first Crimson Tide rusher to eclipse the single-game 100-yard rushing mark this season, finishing against Southern Miss with 110 yards and a touchdown off of 11 carries.

Williams' longest rush of the day came in the first quarter, a 55-yard camper on second and six to put the Crimson Tide at the one-yard line and setting up a touchdown.

"The running backs did a great job being able to read those blocks and those cuts," Alabama quarterback Bryce Young said after the game. "[...] We gotta look at the tape and see the stuff that we can improve on but I think that's something we gotta build off of and keep going."

In total, the Alabama running backs totaled 219 yards and a touchdown and averaged 6.7 yards per rush.

Oh, so close...

JoJo Earle returned a punt for a touchdown in the final minute of the first quarter, but the celebration was short lived. The Crimson Tide was flagged for holding and Alabama took over on its own 40. The celebration was back on three plays later when Roydell Williams scored on a 1-yard run for a 28-0 Alabama lead.

The last punt return for a touchdown by Alabama was DeVonta Smith’s 84-yard return against Arkansas last season.

Earle had another big return in the third quarter, but it was negated by a block in the back penalty.

It was bound to happen...

Bryce Young threw his first interception of the season. The sophomore quarterback threw 86 passes without a pick, but on the 87th attempt he threw one, but it wasn’t really his fault.

Young zipped a pass to Crimson Tide receiver Jameson Williams for a possible touchdown. But Williams bobbled the ball right into the hands of Southern Miss defender Malik Shorts for the turnover.

The longest streak for an Alabama quarterback without throwing an interception was AJ McCarron with 291 attempts.

Never in doubt...

Having not trailed at any point so far this season, Alabama football continues its streak of quarters without playing from behind. In total, the Crimson Tide have played 53 consecutive quarters ahead of its competition, which is the longest streak of any FBS program since 1950.

Postgame Notes

Courtesy of Alabama Athletics

  • Alabama continues to lead the nation in home winning percentage, improving to a 279-54-3 (.834) record after its 63-14 win against Southern Miss.
    • Head coach Nick Saban is 90-8 in home games at Alabama, including winning 60 of his last 63 contests at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  • Bryce Young tied for the second-most touchdown passes in a game with five against Southern Miss.
    • His five touchdown passes ties Gary Hollingsworth (once at Ole Miss on Nov. 4, 1989), Tua Tagovailoa (three times, most recent vs. Southern Miss on Sept. 14, 2019) and Mac Jones (three times, most recent vs. Ohio State on Jan. 11, 2021).
  • Jameson Williams recorded two touchdowns off a pair of kickoff returns against Southern Miss, marking the first time any Alabama player has ever scored on two kickoff returns in a single game.
    • Williams’ first kickoff return for a touchdown went for 100 yards to mark the eighth 100-yard kickoff return in program history. Tyrone Prothro was the latest Crimson Tide player to record a 100-yard kickoff return (at Kentucky on Oct. 9, 2004).
      • Williams’ two kickoff returns marked Alabama’s 27th and 28th kickoff returns for touchdown in school history.
        • Jaylen Waddle was the latest Alabama player to record a kickoff return for a touchdown at Auburn on Nov. 20, 2019 (98 yards).
      • Alabama now has 83 non-offensive touchdowns in the Nick Saban era and three this season.
        • Of the 83 non-offensive touchdowns, tonight’s scores marked the seventh and eighth kickoff returns for a touchdown under Saban.
    • Gary Martin was the last Alabama player to record a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the opening drive (at Miami on Dec. 7, 1963).
  • After its 63-14 win against Southern Miss, the Tide has now scored 30-or-more points in 30-straight games.
    • The Crimson Tide is one 30-point game away from tying UCF for the streak record. The Knights recorded 30-or-more points in 31-straight games from 2017-19.
  • Alabama gained 608 total yards of offense against Southern Miss marking the 12th time in program history it has eclipsed the 600-yard mark in a game.
  • The Tide has now gained 400-plus yards of total offense in 43 of its last 45 games
  • Player Highlights:
    • Jameson Williams owns the two longest touchdown receptions of the season, after catching an 81-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Young.
    • Roydell Williams became the first Crimson Tide player to record 100+ rushing yards this season, gaining 110 in the evening matchup.
      • The sophomore running back recorded 102 of those yards in the first half (nine carries).
  • Alabama's captains against Southern Miss were linebacker Will Anderson Jr., defensive back Jordan Battle and offensive lineman Evan Neal.