Excitement has been building all summer for Alabama Crimson Tide football and the time has finally come for the team to hit the field at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Who will start at quarterback and how will the offense perform without Ingram, Jones and McElroy? Can the Tide defense live up to their high expectations? Will Nick Saban guide his boys back to the top?
It all starts Week 1, against Saban's alma mater, the Kent State Golden Flashes.
Find out what happens here in the Alabama season-opener according to NCAA Football 12!
The Crimson Tide defense was surprised with a battle in the first quarter.
Kent State's Tyshon Goode caught a 35-yard pass from Spencer Keith that led to a Kent State touchdown.
Alabama's offense was efficient throughout the first quarter. Trent Richardson rushed for 85 yards while new quarterback A.J. McCarron threw for a five-yard score to Kevin Norwood. McCarron also connected with Marquis Maze for 28 yards as time ran out in the first quarter.
At end of the first quarter, the score was Alabama 10, Kent State 7.
Alabama's offense and defense started to take control in the second quarter. A.J. McCarron looked like a third-year starter and threw for two more touchdowns.The Tide defense stifled the Golden Flashes and held them to a scoreless second quarter. McCarron finished the first half with 201 yards on 11-of-16 passing and three touchdowns.
At the end of the second quarter it's Alabama 24, Kent State 7.
Nick Saban allowed Phillip Sims to take the field at the start of the third quarter. On his first collegiate drive, Sims threw an interception to the Kent State defense. The Golden Flashes would capitalize as Spencer Keith threw his second touchdown of the ballgame to make it 24-14. On the ensuing kickoff, Alabama fumbled and the ball was recovered by Kent State.
Dre Kirkpatrick would rescue the Tide with an interception that he would return all the way for a touchdown to make it 31-14. Phillip Sims was pulled from the game at the end of the third quarter and replaced by starter A.J. McCarron.
At the end of the third quarter it's Alabama 31, Kent State 14.
A.J. McCarron continued his impressive debut with an early fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson giving McCarron four touchdowns on the day.
Nick Saban put in the second-team offense and defense in the middle of the fourth quarter. Eddie Lacy would cap of the day with a four-yard touchdown run for his first touchdown of the year. The Crimson Tide defense would stop the Golden Flashes from scoring any more points in the game.
At the end of the game it's Alabama 45, Kent State 14.
RB, Trent Richardson: 19 carries, 123 yards, one touchdown
QB, A.J. McCarron: 16-of-21, 266 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions
DB, Dre Kirkpatrick: four tackles, one interception, one touchdown
QB, Spencer Keith: 12-of-26, 153 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions
WR, Kendrick Pressley: three receptions, 38 yards, one touchdown
MLB, Luke Batton: seven tackles, one interception
The Alabama defense was average to their standards. Mark Barron and Company didn't expect to give up 14 points to the Kent State Golden Flashes. But, the Alabama offense didn't expect A.J. McCarron to throw four touchdown passes in his first career start at Alabama.
Phillip Sims got his chance but is just not ready to be a starting quarterback yet. Look for A.J. McCarron to start next week as Alabama rolls into Happy Valley to take on Penn State.