clear
Tuesday August 4th, 2015 11:55AM

No. 2 Alabama rolls over No. 8 Michigan

By The Associated Press
ARLINGTON, TEXAS -- Dee Milliner and that Alabama defense showed they can still dominate.

Even after sending three starting defenders from last year's national championship team to the NFL as first-round draft picks, the second-ranked Crimson Tide threw around eighth-ranked Michigan while pounding Denard Robinson in a season-opening 41-14 victory Saturday night.

C.J. Mosley returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown for the Tide. AJ McCarron, no longer with third overall draft pick Trent Richardson to hand the ball off to, threw two touchdowns as Alabama won its 11th consecutive season opener.

Milliner, the primary nickelback last season now in a starting role, deflected four passes in the first half, and had an interception after shoving intended receiver Roy Roundtree to the ground and into the Alabama sideline. That set up a touchdown for the Crimson Tide, which shot out to a 31-0 lead.

While Michigan still can recover to contend for a Big Ten title and possible Rose Bowl bid, this could be a confidence-shaking performance. It certainly wasn't what Michigan expected coming off an 11-win season under first-year coach Brady Hoke that ended with the Wolverines' first BCS victory since the 1999 season.

They were without suspended running back Fitzgerald Toussaint and defensive end Frank Clark, but even with them probably weren't ready for the toughest of tests.

Unfortunately for Hoke and the Wolverines, this is Alabama - still at its very best.

Even coach Nick Saban was applauding the performance as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

McCarron was 11-of-21 passing for 199 yards. Freshman T.J. Yeldon ran for 111 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, while Eddie Lacy had a 9-yard TD run.

It was a tough night for Robinson, even though he accounted for both Michigan touchdowns. Most of his 200 yards passing (he was 11 of 26) came on two plays - a 71-yard pass right before halftime that came before his 6-yard TD run and his 44-yard scoring pass to Devin Gardner in the third quarter.

Robinson, held to 27 yards rushing on 10 carries, showed his toughness when he didn't miss a snap immediately after being hurt on a fourth-down run in the third quarter.

The Heisman hopeful got hurt when he stretched and landed awkwardly trying to lunge for a first down on fourth-and-3. He appeared to reach for his lower back while on the ground, where he remained for several minutes before being helped up and then walking gingerly off the field. He was taken to the locker room for evaluation.

Officials first marked Robinson's run as first down. But while Robinson was being tended to, the play was reviewed and it was determined that his elbow came down short of the first down. But he was back in the Michigan huddle after Cade Foster kicked a 51-yard field goal.

After Alabama went three-and-out on the opening drive of the game, and its defense quickly set the tone with Milliner knocking down two passes on Michigan's first possession, the Crimson Tide got rolling.

McCarron faked a handoff to perfection, after Lacy and Yeldon had carried the ball down the field, and tossed a 2-yard TD pass to Michael Williams for a 7-0 lead.

Robinson overthrew two receivers before another Michigan punt, and McCarron hit DeAndrew White in stride streaking down the sideline for a 51-yard score. Cornerback Courtney Avery, in after starter Blake Countless sustained an early knee injury, slipped down on the play.

Then came Milliner's big shove that he got away with for a big play. With Roundtree on the ground and the ball in the air, Milliner caught the ball near midfield and returned it to the Michigan 17. Robinson helped make a touchdown-saving tackle, and appeared to grab his right shoulder then.

Lacy broke two tackles on a hard-charging score that made it 21-0, still in the first quarter.

When Jeremy Shelley's 22-yard field goal made it 24-0 with 10 minutes left in the first half, the Crimson Tide had 233 total yards - 199 more than Michigan. It was 31-0 after Robinson inexplicably threw a pass right into Mosley's chest.

Alabama finished with 431 total yards, and Michigan had 269.

The crowd of 90,413 was the largest ever to see a college game at Cowboys Stadium, where the crowd was distinctly split by fans in crimson and those in maize.

At the end, the Alabama fans were chanting "S-E-C!, S-E-C!" and "Roll Tide!"
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Top 10 sports stories of the year: 2012 one for the history books
2012 has been all things to all people in the sports world. The last 12 months have run the gamut of emotions and given fans and spectators much to awe, rue and everything in between.
2:33PM ( 2 years ago )
College Football Hall to break ground in Atlanta
Groundbreaking for the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta will be Jan. 28 and the museum is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
2:15PM ( 2 years ago )
Sports
Tech's 2nd half surge beats Fordham 73-48
Daniel Miller and Robert Carter Jr. each scored 14 points and Georgia Tech scored 17 straight points in the second half en route to a 73-48 victory over Fordham on Saturday night.
10:17PM ( 2 years ago )
Djurisic's career night leads Dogs past Florida A&M
Nemanja Djurisic scored a career-high 21 points and Georgia won its third straight Saturday 82-73 over Florida A&M.
7:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Ga. Southern beats Ga. State, 68-64 in overtime
Eric Ferguson scored 24 points and Georgia Southern overcame a late double-digit deficit to beat Georgia State 68-64 in overtime on Saturday.
7:25PM ( 2 years ago )
College Sports
Softball: Area teams try to build on resurgent 2014 season
After several down years as a whole, girls softball began a resurgence in 2014 that saw 12 teams advance to the state playoffs and two -- Buford and Dawson County -- advance to the Elite 8 in Columbus.
11:23PM ( 11 hours from now )
Falcons' Julio Jones hoping for new contract before season
After losing a few pounds in the offseason, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones believes he is stronger and more explosive...
10:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
Braves keep rallying, Garcia HR in 12th beats Giants 9-8
Adonis Garcia hit a two-run homer in the 12th inning off Ryan Vogelsong and the Atlanta Braves completed their final comeback of the game, beating the San Francisco Giants 9-8 Monday night.
11:39PM ( 12 hours ago )
Mateo wins debut in G-Braves win
The Gwinnett Braves won a battle of home runs on Monday to beat the Rochester Red Wings 3-1 and give right-handed starter Victor Mateo a victorious Triple-A debut at Coolray Field.
By AccessWDUN staff
10:47PM ( 13 hours ago )
SEC spares no expense in hiring 14 new coordinators
Alabama coach Nick Saban and his staff always devote some offseason time to studying new offensive and defensive coordinators, just perhaps not quite this much.
9:27PM ( 14 hours ago )