Jaylen Waddle returned a punt for a touchdown and caught two scoring passes, including a 94-yarder, in No. 1 Alabama’s 56-14 victory Saturday over Louisiana-Lafayette.
Quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts staked the Crimson Tide (5-0) to a 49-0 halftime lead over the Ragin’ Cajuns (1-3) en route to the defending national champions’ latest blowout.
Then third-teamer Mac Jones got into the act with his 94-yarder to the freshman Waddle late in the third quarter. It tied for the second-longest TD catch in Alabama history.
Alabama has scored at least 45 points five games in a row for the first time in program history.
Hurts erased any question about possibly taking a redshirt year and leaving the program by playing in his fifth game.
“Jalen obviously handled this extremely well relative to being a great team player, great team leader, respecting his teammates and sticking with the program here,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said.
Tagovailoa completed all eight of his attempts for 128 yards and two touchdowns, mostly in the first quarter. Hurts was 4 of 6 for 118 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown to Henry Ruggs III.
Ruggs caught five passes for 116 yards and two TDs. Waddle gained 138 yards on three catches and returned a punt 63 yards for a score.
Alabama took a 21-0 lead in the first seven minutes, with help from two big special teams plays, Waddle’s return and Derek Kief’s blocked punt.
Josh Jacobs ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter.
The Ragin’ Cajuns scored twice in the fourth but were outgained 608-288. Trey Ragas gained 111 yards on 16 rushes with a 1-yard touchdown.
Louisiana-Lafayette: Billy Napier, a former Alabama receivers coach, joins the ranks of ex-Nick Saban assistants who haven’t beaten their former boss. Saban is 14-0 against former underlings, including last week over Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher.
Alabama: Fourth straight game against teams that aren’t ranked. Did what it’s supposed to in such an obvious mismatch: Take care of business early.
HURTS’ 5TH GAME
Hurts officially can’t follow the path of players such as Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant, leaving teams to preserve a year of eligibility. He entered on the last drive of the first quarter. A new NCAA rule allows players to redshirt if they don’t play in more than four games.
There were thousands of empty seats for the Tide’s latest blowout, and only a fraction of seats in the student sections were filled.
Louisiana-Lafayette tries to push its record against Texas State to 5-0.
Alabama travels to SEC West opponent Arkansas with another early kickoff.
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