Alabama overpowers Wisconsin in season opener, wins 35-17

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, left, and Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst shakes hands after an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. Alabama won 35-17. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Derrick Henry is leading No. 3 Alabama in rushing again, this time as the featured back.

After being the Crimson Tide’s leading rusher last season while backing up a second-round NFL draft pick, Henry took over as the No. 1 guy Saturday night. He ran for 147 yards with three touchdowns in a season-opening 35-17 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin.

Jake Coker got the starting nod at quarterback for Alabama, and was 15 of 21 passing for 213 yards. His 17-yard TD to Robert Foster in the second quarter broke a 7-7 tie and put the Tide ahead to stay in the NFL stadium where they had wanted to end last season.

Henry’s 13 carries included a 37-yard TD run on Alabama’s second drive, then scores of 56 and 2 yards in the third quarter. On the 56-yarder, Henry took a handoff from Coker, shot through an opening on the left side of the line with only one defender, even swiping a hand on him before outracing everyone to the end zone.

Kenyan Drake added a 43-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. Cooper Bateman, the second Alabama quarterback, completed 7 of 8 passes for 51 yards.

Wisconsin’s new starting running back Corey Clement struggled mightily, with 16 yards on eight carries – only one after halftime before leaving the game with a left groin injury. He had averaged 7 yards per carry with seven 100-yard games his first two seasons, even while starting only once.

Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) greets Wisconsin players after an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. Henry rushed for 147 yards with three touchdowns and No. 3 Alabama ran away with a 35-17 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin in the season opener for both teams. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) greets Wisconsin players after an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. Henry rushed for 147 yards with three touchdowns and No. 3 Alabama ran away with a 35-17 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin in the season opener for both teams. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Badgers were held to 40 yards rushing, their lowest total since 19 against Michigan State on Oct. 27, 2012, and had only 268 total yards in former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst’s first game as head coach. They had averaged 264 yards per game on the ground over the previous five seasons.

Joel Stave, in his 29th start as Wisconsin’s quarterback, was 26 of 39 passing for 228 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

The AdvoCare Classic was played in the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium where the first College Football Playoff championship game was played last January.

Alabama didn’t make it that far, losing in a national semifinal to eventual national champion Ohio State, which had beaten Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten championship game.

The Crimson Tide’s last national title was in 2012, which was their third in four years under coach Nick Saban. That season opened in the same kickoff game with a 41-14 victory over No. 8 Michigan at the stadium that is home of the Cotton Bowl, one of the national semifinal games this season.

Henry ran for a team-high 990 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, when he was behind T.J. Yeldon. Now Henry gets his chance as the Tide’s No. 1 runner, following in line behind Yeldon, Eddie Lacy, Trent Richardson and 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.

Clement last season ran for 949 yards and TDs in the same backfield with Heisman runner-up Melvin Gordon (2,587 yards and 29 TDs).

Gordon and Clement combined for 3,536 yards rushing last season, breaking the FBS record for yards by teammates. Gordon had combined with James White for 3,053 yards in 2013.

No. 3 ALABAMA 35, No. 20 WISCONSIN 17
Wisconsin0737-17
Alabama77147-35
First Quarter
Ala_Henry 37 run (Griffith kick), 5:54.

Second Quarter
Wis_Erickson 6 pass from Stave (Gaglianone kick), 11:06.

Ala_Ro.Foster 17 pass from Coker (Griffith kick), 6:39.

Third Quarter
Ala_Henry 56 run (Griffith kick), 11:42.

Ala_Henry 2 run (Griffith kick), 5:17.

Wis_FG Gaglianone 43, 1:05.

Fourth Quarter
Ala_Drake 43 run (Griffith kick), 8:02.

Wis_Wheelwright 3 pass from Stave (Gaglianone kick), 4:42.

A_64,279.

___

WisAla
First downs 17 27
Rushes-yards 21-40 37-238
Passing 228 264
Comp-Att-Int 26-39-1 22-29-0
Return Yards 15 66
Punts-Avg. 7-37.1 4-36.8
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 5-50 11-120
Time of Possession 28:55 31:05
___

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING_Wisconsin, Erickson 1-25, Clement 8-16, Deal 6-14,

Ogunbowale 3-9, Stave 3-(minus 24). Alabama, Henry 13-147, Drake 10-77,

D.Harris 9-23, Bateman 2-4, Coker 3-(minus 13).

PASSING_Wisconsin, Stave 26-39-1-228. Alabama, Coker 15-21-0-213,

Bateman 7-8-0-51.

RECEIVING_Wisconsin, Erickson 6-73, Ogunbowale 6-39, D.Watt 5-22,

Traylor 3-39, Clement 2-19, Wheelwright 2-18, Peavy 1-14, Deal 1-4.

Alabama, Ro.Foster 4-50, Stewart 4-44, Howard 3-37, Ridley 3-22,

Drake 2-48, Mullaney 2-38, Henry 2-12, Flournoy-Smith 1-17,

D.Harris 1-(minus 4).

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

ARLINGTON, Tex. (WIAT) — A running game log of the Alabama Crimson Tide game at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

1st quarter: (5:54) Derrick Henry breaks free for a 37 yard touchdown. Crimson Tide lead 7-0.

At the end of one quarter the Alabama Crimson Tide lead the Wisconsin Badgers 7-0.

2nd quarter: (11:06) Wisconsin QB Joel Stave connects with Alex Erickson for 6 yard touchdown. Game tied at 7-7.

Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) celebrates rushing for a touchdown with quarterback Jake Coker (14) during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) celebrates rushing for a touchdown with quarterback Jake Coker (14) during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

2nd quarter: (6:39) Jake Coker hits Robert Foster for the 17 yard touchdown. Tide lead 14-7.

Alabama Crimson Tide leads the Wisconsin Badgers 14-7 at halftime.

Wisconsin to receive the ball at the start of the 3rd quarter.

3rd quarter: (11:42) Derrick Henry rushes for 56 yard touchdown. Tide lead 21-7.

3rd quarter: (5:17) Derrick Henry rushes for 2 yard touchdown. Tide lead 28-7

3rd quarter: (1:07) Wisconsin’s Rafael Gaglianone makes 43 yard field goal. Tide lead 28-10.

After 3 quarters Alabama leads Wisconsin 28-10.

4th quarter: (8:02) Kenyan Drake 43 yard touchdown run, Tide lead 35-10.

4th quarter: (4:42) Wisconsin’s Joel Stave pass connects with Robert Wheelwright for 3 yard touchdown. Tide lead 35-17.

Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Wisconsin Badgers 35-17.

Related: Photos – Alabama vs. Wisconsin

Related: Nick Saban’s first showdown with Wisconsin since Michigan State years

Related: Adam Griffith looks to win back trust of Tide fans this season

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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