TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama finally had a points explosion.
Now if it can just do the same thing on the road in the
John Parker Wilson threw for 210 yard and two touchdown passes
Saturday in Alabama's best offensive performance of the season, a
41-7 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
A week after the Crimson Tide (3-0) barely beat Vanderbilt,
Wilson completed 13 of 21 passes without an interception against
the Warhawks (1-2).
Next up are league games at Arkansas and Florida.
"We're going to have to get better," said coach Mike Shula.
"We've got the SEC on the road the next two weeks."
Wilson had scoring throws of 43 yards to D.J. Hall and 17 yards
to Le'Ron McClain. The starter was on the sideline wearing a
baseball cap early in the fourth quarter, and two backups saw
Kenneth Darby, who struggled to get into the open during the
first two games but was the Tide's leading rusher last year, ran
for a season-high 79 yards on 14 rushes.
"He had a little bit of a slow start, but I was glad to see him
get going," said Shula.
Tim Castille scored on a 3-yard run, and Keith Brown caught five
passes for 82 yards for Alabama, which had 444 yards in offense to
196 for Louisiana-Monroe.
Louisiana-Monroe's lone touchdown came on a 2-yard run by
Kinsmon Lancaster in the second quarter. Calvin Dawson rushed for a
game-high 118 yards on 16 carries for the Warhawks.
"Calvin made some great runs. He had a great second effort,
broke a few tackles and wouldn't be denied on some of those runs,"
Alabama fans have been looking for an offensive breakout since
the Tide struggled to put away opponents in its first two games, a
25-17 victory over Hawaii and a 13-10 win over Vanderbilt.
Again, it took the Crimson Tide a while to overwhelm an
overmatched Sun Belt Conference foe. The offense looked sluggish
through much of three quarters.
The scoring troubles were on display right after halftime, when
Alabama's defense held the Warhawks to a punt and the Tide offense
drove to the Louisiana-Monroe 3, where it was first and goal with
Alabama up 17-7.
Rather than punching it in, Alabama had to settle for a 25-yard
field goal by Leigh Tiffin after three incomplete passes in the end
zone by Wilson, one of which came after a false start penalty.
Tiffin also kicked a 34-yard field goal, but he was short from
Alabama's primary kicker from last year, Jamie Christensen,
handled kickoffs after missing the first two games with a groin
Junior linebacker DeMarcus Waldrop started in place of Alabama
leading tackler Juwan Simpson, who was in uniform but didn't play.
Simpson and two other players, Jimmy Johns and Lionel Mitchell,
were held out for violating team rules, Shula said.
In each of the first two games, Shula also sat two players for
disciplinary reasons. But Alabama doesn't have "a bunch of bad
kids," he said.
"It's done. Hopefully it's the last time we have to talk about
this," said Shula, who wouldn't disclose what any of the players
did, aside from Simpson.
Simpson paid a $300 fine and entered a court-ordered drug
program following his arrest on charges of marijuana possession and
carrying a handgun without a license. He played in Bama's first two
games, making a game-ending interception to help preserve the win