13 September 2008
Alabama added a successful vertical passing game to the power running and smashmouth defense that won its first two games, and the resultant whole was more than a Western Kentucky team playing its first Division I-A season could handle.
John Parker Wilson passed for 216 yards, and five tailbacks combined for 262 yards rushing, spearheaded by Glenn Coffee's 98 yards on only 11 carries. A smothering Tide defense limited the Hilltoppers to only 160 yards, despite some heady play and the accurate second-half passing of quarterback David Wolke.
Of particular note was the 232 receiving yards racked up by no less than seven Alabama wideouts. Bama's wide receivers combined for only 96 total receiving yards in the games against Clemson and Tulane.
Alabama's methodical first possession moved the ball 63 yards in 11 plays, culminating in a 7-yard Mark Ingram TD run. After that the scoring seemed to get easier and easier, as Bama's downfield passing attack ramped up for the first time this year. By the time Terry Grant's 8-yard run stuck it in the end zone with 13:37 left, Bama had three TDs and a field goal to show for its first four possessions and led 24-0.
The firing-on-all-cylinders crimson offense racked up 559 yards, 30 first downs, held the ball for 81 plays to Western Kentucky's 48, and was not forced to punt in the entire game. Only the fact that the Tide reached the Hilltopper five-yard-line twice without scoring in the game's final few minutes kept the final score from revealing the true depths of the rout.
Justin Woodall had five tackles, an interception, a forced fumble, and a pass break-up, and Rashad Johnson added seven tackles and two break-ups to help the Tide defense hold Wolke and the Hilltoppers to just nine first downs and 160 yards total offense.
The fourth quarter saw lots of young guys showing their stuff for the first time. Of course, Western Kentucky was tired by that time, but the dominance never really stopped, not even when Xth-string quarterback Thomas Darrah was handing it off late to fifth-string tailback Demetrius Goode to run behind a reserve offensive line.