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Top 25: No. 1 Alabama 40, Florida Atlantic 7

Published September 22, 2012 6:31 pm

Top 25 football • The Crimson Tide only allowed one first down through the first three quarters.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. • AJ McCarron threw three touchdown passes, including an early 85-yarder to Kenny Bell, and No. 1 Alabama routed Florida Atlantic 40-7 on Saturday.

Eddie Lacy rushed for 106 yards in the first half for the Crimson Tide (4-0), which rolled to 134 consecutive points and two shutouts before allowing a touchdown in the final minutes.

The Owls (1-3) managed only one first down through three quarters and were outgained 503 to 110 in total yards. They were coming off a 56-20 loss to another Southeastern Conference power, No. 5 Georgia.

This one was even more one-sided for the 50-point underdogs.

McCarron was 15 of 25 passing for 212 yards before leaving midway through the third quarter. The 85-yarder came 1 minute, 42 seconds into the game and is tied for the fifth-longest touchdown pass in Tide history.

The only suspense late was whether Alabama could complete a third consecutive shutout for the first time since Bear Bryant's unbeaten 1966 team.

Alabama ran its shutout streak to 192 minutes, 25 seconds dating back to the third quarter of the opener against Michigan, but that's as far as it got.

Graham Wilbert hit Alex Deleon for a 6-yard touchdown with 2:49 left, silencing the remaining fans hoping for three shutouts in a row. It took 8 minutes, 24 seconds, 15 plays and two fourth-down conversions to reach the end zone on the drive.

An unsportsmanlike conduct flag against Alabama's bench for stepping too far onto the field two plays before the score showed how badly the Tide wanted to keep the goose eggs flowing.

The Owls had just 41 yards and one first down through three quarters before finally moving the ball across midfield on the final drive.

Wilbert was 7 of 13 passing for 34 yards — 23 on the cosmetic scoring drive. —