Sitting in my seat in Bryant-Denny Stadium during the first half on Saturday, I didn’t feel particularly inclined to give anyone the "player of the week" award. The offense looked sluggish and there was a lethargic feel about the whole team. After a three and out on their first possession, the Vanderbilt offense began moving the ball with better than expected success against the defense (seven plays of nine yards or better in the first half.) Vanderbilt's kicker dinked one early FG attempt off of the uprights and narrowly missed another in the 2nd quarter. Alabama moved the ball well at the end of the 2nd quarter, but it took a ridiculous grab from DeAndrew White to put Alabama up 14-0 going into the break when it could've easily been 7-6. Alabama came out in the second half and asserted their will on Vanderbilt scoring on their first three possessions (though there was the frustration of a missed PAT by Jeremy Shelley.)
I was tempted to go with Trent Richardson this week based on the fact that he amassed another 100 yard rushing effort and really lit the spark for the team on the opening drive of the second half, but decided ultimately to go with AJ McCarron. McCarron quietly had a strong night: 23 of 30 (77%) for 237 yards and 4 TDs. The 39 yarder to DeAndrew White in particular is something I think we've all been waiting on for a while. His 4 TD passes put him tied for second with John Parker Wilson and Mike Shula on the list of most TD passes in a game by a Bama QB (Gary Hollingsworth is the sole leader at 5 TDs.) I know it's odd to say it was a quiet performance given the numbers, but it's not like there were a ton of explosive plays in there as we're still doing a lot of short passes to move the ball (two of the TD passes were under 10 yards as well.) That being said, he's getting the job done. He's making the plays that have to be made and he's protecting the ball, which is all anyone can ask...especially sitting at 6-0 with a huge average margin of victory.