Grading Alabama football: What kind of marks does Tide get for win over Austin Peay?

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

The same scrutiny used for this game isn’t the same as an SEC matchup.

Such is the nature of facing an FCS opponent. Alabama football is held to a higher standard against an opponent that isn’t even ranked among FCS teams.

The Crimson Tide didn't dominate like expected against Austin Peay, but Alabama still beat the Governors 34-0 on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Here's how we graded No. 8 Alabama (9-2) in its win over Austin Peay (7-4).

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Offense: C

Jase McClellan and the running game served as the catalyst for this offense that should have been more productive against Austin Peay. Jermaine Burton had his best game with the Crimson Tide. A few turnovers, including a Jalen Milroe interception, hurt this grade, too.

Defense: A-

The defense bent after a few turnovers from the offense, but it didn’t break. Still, Austin Peay had a few receivers get behind the defense early, and that could have been bad for Alabama if the Governors didn't mess those plays up. The defense forced multiple turnovers, though, and kept the Austin Peay offense from being able to do much.

Special teams: D+

This game was not the finest performance from the special teams unit. First, Emmanuel Henderson brought an ill-advised kick return out to start the game that put the offense on the 8-yard line. Later in the first quarter, this group gave the ball back to Austin Peay on a punt return as the ball hit an Alabama player's helmet. Will Reichard helped this grade some by kicking a few field goals.

Coaching: C+

Alabama started slow again, and some of that falls on the coaching staff. The lack of crispness on the part of the offense and defense at times also falls on the shoulders of the staff some as well, but the players also have to execute what they are asked to do.

Overall: C

Alabama should have won by more. Plain and simple. The Crimson Tide lacked intensity at times. Still, a win is a win.