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NCAA Game Summary - Alabama at Duke



(Saturday, September 18th)

Final Score: (1) Alabama 62, Duke 13

Durham, NC (Sports Network) - Mark Ingram returned to the lineup for Alabama after missing the first two games of the season and ran for 151 yards with a pair of touchdowns on just nine carries to lead the top-ranked Crimson Tide to an easy 62-13 victory over Duke at Wallace Wade Stadium.

It was the first road game of the season for Alabama (3-0), which handled San Jose State and Penn State in its first two outings at Bryant-Denny Stadium without the returning Heisman Trophy winner. Ingram injured his left knee in practice on August 30 and underwent an arthroscopic procedure the next day.

"Well first of all I was really pleased with the way our players came in ready to play today," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. "I was really concerned coming off last week's game with how we would respond coming on the road for the first time - how we would compete after a big game."

Greg McElroy threw for 258 yards while completing 14-of-20 passes with three touchdowns and one interception for Alabama, which will open its SEC schedule next week at fellow unbeaten Arkansas. Julio Jones caught five passes for 106 yards with a touchdown in the lopsided victory.

Trent Richardson added 61 yards on the ground, including a 45-yard scoring jaunt, and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown, while Eddie Lacy also reached the end zone for the Tide, who piled up 315 rushing yards and outgained Duke by a 626-302 margin.

Sean Renfree threw for a 144 yards with a touchdown for Duke (1-2), which has yielded 116 points in its last two outings. The Blue Devils, who dropped their ACC opener last week at Wake Forest by a 54-48 score, fell to 0-11 all-time against No. 1 teams.

"That's a laundry list of things that need to be addressed as a head coach," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. "I told them that it's obvious to anyone who watched this game or the last two games that we're in rehab. We certainly have some things to fix. In this point in time, that's where we are. We have nine football games left and I'm just really interested in seeing the response from people tomorrow."

Ingram took a handoff 48 yards on the first play from scrimmage, then added a three-yard run before McElroy threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Darius Hanks to cap the quick series for a 7-0 lead.

The Tide went to the air on their next possession, as McElroy connected on three of his four throws during the six-play set and capped it with an 18-yard scoring strike to Jones.

Ingram ignited the next Alabama offensive series with a 50-yard run on the first play and was rewarded soon after with a one-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 just under nine minutes into the contest.

Renfree was picked off by Dre Kirkpatrick on Duke's next possession and the Tide turned the mistake into another score, as Ingram found the end zone from 17 yards away.

The Blue Devils picked up their initial first down on their next series and drove far enough for a 22-yard field goal from Will Snyderwine late in the first period.

McElroy was picked off early in the second quarter, but the Tide got the ball right back after a punt and the senior signal-caller ended a 56-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Preston Dial.

Snyderwine drilled a 42-yard field goal with just over six minutes left in the half, but Richardson fielded the ensuing kickoff at the four-yard line, dropped the ball and picked it up before racing 91 yards for a touchdown to give the Tide a 42-6 lead.

Duke added a touchdown on an 11-yard connection between Renfree and Austin Kelly just 29 seconds before the intermission, but Alabama tacked on a 44-yard Cade Foster field goal as time expired for a 45-13 lead.

The Crimson Tide did not face a third down during the first half and outgained the Blue Devils, 383-213. It marked the most points for Alabama in a first half since a 42-point effort against UTEP in 2001.

After a 21-yard Foster field goal on the first series of the third quarter, Richardson scored on a 45-yard run on the first play after a Duke punt to increase the lead to 55-13. Lacy, who fumbled inside the Duke five-yard line late in the third quarter, scored on a one-yard run early in the fourth to account for the final margin.

Game Notes

The Crimson Tide last scored 62 points in a shutout against Tulane on October 12, 1991...Alabama has won 27 straight regular-season games, dating back to a November 24, 2007 loss to Auburn...Richardson's kickoff return for a touchdown was the first for Alabama since Tyrone Prothro returned one 100 yards against Kentucky on October 10, 2004...Duke had last played a top-ranked team on October 2, 1999 and suffered a 51-23 loss to Florida State...The last non- conference No. 1 team to visit Duke was Pittsburgh in 1937. Florida State played at Durham in 1993...This was just the fourth meeting between the programs and the first since a 30-14 Alabama home victory in 2006. Alabama has won the last three matchups after Duke prevailed in the Sugar Bowl after the 1944 season. The Crimson Tide had never previously played at Wallace Wade Stadium, which is named for the man who guided Alabama to three national championships during an eight-year tenure from 1923-30 before coaching the Blue Devils for 16 seasons.

09/19 00:21:45 ET


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