The No. 2-ranked Alabama hosted Southern Miss with a few questions it needed to answer. Here is how the Crimson Tide answered them:
1. Can the run game get on track?
Yep. Alabama remained committed to the run game Saturday, gaining 151 yards on 24 carries after three quarters. The Crimson Tide had 25 total attempts last week against South Carolina for 76 yards. Najee Harris was impressive with 110 yards rushing.
2. Can Alabama finish without significant injuries?
Freshman kicker Will Reichard left in the first quarter with what coach Nick Saban called a pulled hip flexor and is questionable for next week’s Ole Miss game. Freshman defensive lineman D.J. Dale went into the locker room with about three minutes left in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Saban said he should be available next week.
3. How many TDs for Tua?
Tua Tagovailoa entered Saturday with 12 touchdown passes, which is four per game. He had four against Southern Miss – in the first half. He threw another one in the third quarter to give him back-to-back weeks with five touchdowns in a game.
4. Can Alabama’s defense get off the field?
Last week Alabama had some issues on third down, allowing 5 of 8 conversions against South Carolina. On Saturday the defense was on point, allowing just 2 of 11 conversions. Three times Southern Miss was held to a three-and-out.