TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama fans have a word for what the Crimson Tide did to Georgia State Saturday: thunderfunk.
The trademark blowout victory had been missing so far this season. But Alabama delivered in a big way on Saturday after a couple of stagnant showings against lesser competition, crushing Georgia State 45-3.
“We made it a point to come out strong and finish strong amongst ourselves and amongst everyone else,” left guard Arie Kouandjio said. “It was a good step forward. We're just focusing in and we're doing what we've got to do.”
It sounds crazy to say about a game against Georgia State, which is in its first year in FBS, but the Crimson Tide looked like a championship team for the first time this season from start to finish, on both sides of the ball.
The offense started the game with six touchdowns on seven drives (the other drive ended in a made field goal). AJ McCarron completed his first 12 passes, finishing 15-of-16 with 166 yards and four touchdowns before being yanked midway through the second quarter.
The defense held the Panthers to 175 yards of offense, 134 of which came in the second half when Alabama was deep into its personnel bench.
“That’s what we were looking for,” said wide receiver DeAndrew White, who made the play of the game late in the first quarter. “We try to play a perfect game. Special teams, offense, defense coming together—that's what we want.”
Alabama is expected to have these types of blowout games but hadn’t had one up to this point in the season. The defense dominated in the season opener against Virginia Tech, but the offense struggled to move the ball. The opposite was true against Texas A&M, where the offense marched down the field at will, but the defense was sliced to pieces.
Against Colorado State and Ole Miss, the defense won the day again, but the offense was inconsistent.
Saturday, Alabama got dominant performances from both sides.
“What's really important in games like this is that your players go out and you almost look like we have a faceless opponent here,” coach Nick Saban said after the game. “Let's go out there and execute and improve so we can do the things that we need to do that are going to carry over from a confidence standpoint as well as an ability-to-execute standpoint when you play the next time.”
The Crimson Tide now have a foundation to build upon as they move into the meat of their schedule, which includes five straight SEC games, the fourth being a showdown against LSU at home that will more than likely decide the SEC West.
It’s only Georgia State, but Alabama showed the country Saturday how dangerous it can be when it is firing on all cylinders.