My reactions to the first quarter of this game was a slew of comic book type sounds, oomph, pow, crunch, ka-pow. That famous Alabama offensive was a sight to behold as any middle school running back could have piled up the yards behind them. The above average defense of Kent State, by MAC standards anyway, never had a chance to pose problems for Bama.
With a point spread of above 40 in the favor of Alabama, Kent State was never going to win. There was a glimmer of hope to keep it close in the early going as Alabama was coming off a tough game against Ole Miss and perhaps there was going to be a bit of a hangover.
Those concerns proved unfounded as Alabama was up 21-0 after the first quarter.
Despite a constant shuffling of new personnel in the game for Alabama, there was no let-up in the scoring. It quickly became apparent in the second quarter that Kent State would be challenging Bowling Green for the most points conceded by a MAC school this non-conference season.
At the half, Kent State was down 41-0 with only 53 yards of total offense, an apparent injury to starting quarterback Mylik Mitchell and worst news of all, another half of football to play.
Shockingly, Justin Rankin in the first half averaged ten yards a pop on five carries, but considering the fact that is first run from scrimmage was for 47 yards that becomes much less impressive. Rankin proved to be the only offense for the Golden Flashes as an Alabama defense littered with future NFL players dominated.
The second half saw Nick Saban afforded the opportunity to give an incredibly large amount of his players game time experience. The same could also be said for Kent State as they were forced to rotate players frequently due to both injury and wanting to prevent more injuries going into the game next week against Akron.
It was easy to tell after scoring a touchdown on their first possession of the second half that Saban’s Alabama team really took their foot off the gas. The heat and humidity resulted in fan and player alike seemingly disinterested in hanging around much longer.
Kent State would muster a scoring opportunity for themselves as second half replacement at quarter back George Bollas threw a pair of nice passes for 25 and 36 yards. The drive would fizzle inside the Alabama ten yard line as Kent State predictably couldn’t finish for a touchdown despite four failed attempts before a turnover on downs.
The game would mercifully end with Alabama winning 48-0. On the day, Alabama would outgain Kent State 502-166. Alabama once again showed why they are one of the premier programs in the nation as they put Kent State away early, despite coming off an emotional back and forth game a week ago.
The hope for Kent State moving forward is that they can recuperate for the big showdown with Akron next week. Mylik Mitchell appeared to be hurt, meaning third-string quarterback Bollas could be on the hook to start next week.