Crimson Tide Rolls Past USC, 52-6
True freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) while receiver ArDarius Stewart and running back Damien Harris had career-best performances, supplementing a suffocating performance by the Crimson Tide defense to lead the University of Alabama football team to a 52-6 victory over the 20th-ranked University of Southern California Trojans before a crowd of 81,359 on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium.
The 46-point margin of victory is the largest Alabama winning margin over a top-20 ranked opponent since a 35-0 win at sixth-ranked Florida in 1991, and is the second-largest victory margin over a top 20 team in Crimson Tide history following only a 55-point win (61-6) over Syracuse in the 1953 Orange Bowl (1952 season). The largest Alabama victory margin ever against a ranked team was a 59-0 win over No. 21 Texas A&M in 2014.
Making his collegiate debut in a substitute role, Hurts entered the game on Alabama's third offensive possession and the Tide offense began to find its rhythm and identity as he settled in. Hurts was an efficient 6-of-11 for 118 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Harris rushed for 138 yards on nine carries in his first career start at running back, including runs of 73 and 46 yards. Stewart had four catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns, including a career-long 71-yarder, with all of his career-best totals coming in the first half of action.
Defensively, Alabama was stifling after allowing a scoring drive to open the game. The Tide was dominant at the line of scrimmage, holding the Trojans to 64 yards rushing on 30 attempts, an average of 2.1 yards per rush. Redshirt freshman cornerback Anthony Averette recorded a team-best eight total tackles, including seven solos. Additionally, cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick had six tackles and broke up two passes, defensive end Jonathan Allen had two quarterback sacks and the team broke up seven passes, had nine tackles for loss and three sacks. Sophomore cornerback Marlon Humphrey returned an interception for a touchdown in the first half.
Overall, the Tide gained 465 yards (242 passing and 223 rushing), picked up 15 first downs, and averaged 7.4 yards per play. USC totaled 194 yards (130 passing and 64 rushing), along with converting 11 first downs and averaging 2.9 yards per play.