Alabama hands USC its worst season-opening loss, 52-6


Lane Kiffin got his revenge. Alabama’s defense was stifling and its offense just kept rolling. The Crimson Tide embarrassed USC, 52-6, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night.

Alabama rolls over USC, 52-6, in season opener

Lane Kiffin got his revenge.

Alabama’s defense was stifling and its offense just kept rolling.

The Crimson Tide embarrassed USC, 52-6, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night.

It was the worst season-opening loss for USC ever.

The Trojans took a 3-0 lead to open the game before the Crimson Tide went on a 38-0 tear.

Alabama’s Blake Barnett started at quarterback before he was replaced by freshman Jalen Hurts. Hurts completed six of 11 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 32 yard and two touchdowns in nine carries.

USC’s offense was held to 194 total yards. Max Browne started but split time in the second half with backup Sam Darnold. Neither player was able to muster any momentum against a fast defense.


Alabama leads USC, 52-6, in the fourth quarter

Lane Kiffin won’t stop. This score is going to get run up as far as he can take it.

Gehrig Dieter caught a 45-yard pass from Blake Barnett and Alabama took a 52-6 lead over USC in the fourth quarter.

This is as bad as it gets for the Trojans.

The scoring drive covered 67 yards in four plays.


There’s no mercy rule in college football

USC’s offense went three-and-out.

The Trojans have so far to go, there’s not much else to be written.

Alabama leads, 45-6.

The Crimson Tide have rushed for 229 yards and passed for 161 yards. USC has rushed for 43 yards and passed for 105.

Defensively, USC came out strong, but has since blown too many assignments to give itself a chance.


Alabama leads UCS, 45-6, in the fourth quarter

Lane Kiffin is showing no mercy.

Alabama scored again on fourth and goal to take a 45-6 lead over USC.

Blake Barnett was reinserted at quarterback.

Bo Scarbrough rushed for 18 yards in three consecutive carries and O.J. Howard caught a 40-yard pass over Chris Hawkins to set up the touchdown.

The scoring drive covered 65 yards in nine plays.

An Alabama fan, who appears to be a grandmother, is being shown on the giant video screen dancing and USC fans are trickling out of the stadium.

The Trojans, who have endured enough turmoil the last five seasons to last a lifetime, appear to have a long way to go before they’re part of the national conversation again.


Alabama leads USC, 38-6, in the third quarter

Matt Boermeester kicked a 41-yard field goal and USC finally scored after Alabama went on a 38-0 run since the first quarter.

Alabama leads USC, 38-6, in the third quarter.

The scoring drive covered 56 yards in eight plays.

Max Browne returned at quarterback after Sam Darnold played two series.

Ronald Jones II rushed for 46 yards in a carry.

Aca’Cedric Ware rushed for 12 yards in consecutive carries and JuJu Smith-Schuster caught his first pass of the game, a nine-yard reception.

This game needs a running clock. Or a mercy rule.


Alabama leads USC, 38-3, in the third quarter

Alabama running back Damien Harris rushed for 73 yards in a carry to set up another Crimson Tide touchdown.

Alabama leads USC, 38-3, in the third quarter.

The scoring drive covered 85 yards in three plays. Jalen Hurts rushed for six yards and a touchdown.

Adoree’ Jackson displayed his blazing speed when he closed a several-yard gap between himself and Harris, which kept Alabama, temporarily, out of the end zone.


Iman Marshall intercepts Jalen Hurts, but nothing gives for USC

Iman Marshall intercepted a third-down pass by Jalen Hurts and USC took over on its own 42-yard line.

But nothing came of the turnover.

Sam Darnold, who has taken over at quarterback for Max Browne, threw two incomplete passes and rushed for a yard.

There doesn’t appear to be much life on the USC sideline.

And it will be interesting to see when this game is over what Darnold’s insertion means for the quarterback competition.


Sam Darnold replaces Max Browne at quarterback for USC

Sam Darnold was inserted at quarterback for Max Browne.

The results were no better.

USC went three-and-out.

Darnold completed a four-yard pass to Deontay Burnett before Ronald Jones II was dropped for a three-yard loss.

Darnold tried to scramble on third down, but couldn’t make up the difference.

Alabama’s defense is too good.


Alabama leads USC, 31-3, in the third quarter

Alabama took over on USC’s 13-yard line after Chris Tilbey was unable to get a punt off.

The Crimson Tide scored four plays later when Jalen Hurts rushed for seven yards and a touchdown.

Alabama leads USC, 31-3. The Trojans are imploding.

For USC’s offense, it’s a new half, but not a fresh start. The Trojans can’t move the ball.

After fifth-year senior Zach Banner was flagged for a false start, the offense stalled with three incomplete passes.


Alabama leads USC, 24-3, in third quarter

USC’s defense had a total breakdown and Jalen Hurts completed a 71-yard pass to ArDarius Stewart for a touchdown.

Alabama leads, 24-3.

The scoring drive covered 75 yards in three plays.

No one was in the same zip code, area code or state as Stewart.

The Alabama sideline went crazy.


Alabama leads USC, 17-3, at halftime

After a slow start, Alabama has come back to dominate USC in the first half.

The Crimson Tide lead the Trojans, 17-3.

USC’s offense has been unable to muster any scoring after kicking a 47-yard field goal in the first series.

Alabama’s defense has kept pressure on Max Browne and has shut down USC’s running game. The Trojans have rushed for six yards in 15 carries.

Browne has completed 10 of 21 passes for 86 yards, with an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

Alabama started quarterback Blake Barnett before inserting freshman Jalen Hurts.

After turning the ball over on his first touch, Hurts has completed five of eight passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.

The Crimson Tide has rushed for 92 yards in 20 carries.


USC’s offense can’t move against Alabama

Max Browne completed a 16-yard pass to Steven Mitchell to start USC’s drive but the Trojans couldn’t muster any more yards.

Browne threw two deep incompletions and Mitchell stepped out of bounds on third down.

Left tackle Chuma Edoga went to the locker room on a previous series. Chad Wheeler has taken over at the position.

The Trojans look like they’re out of gas.


Alabama leads USC, 17-3, in the second quarter

Marlon Humphrey intercepted a ball tipped off Deontay Burnett’s hands and returned it for a touchdown.

Alabama leads USC, 17-3, in the second quarter.

This has gotten out of hand, quickly.

Two players earlier, on special teams, USC’s Jabari Ruffin was ejected from the game for stomping on a player.


Alabama leads USC, 10-3, in the second quarter

Adam Griffith kicked a 29-yard field goal and Alabama leads USC, 10-3, in the second quarter.

The scoring drive covered 64 yards in seven plays.

Damien Harris rushed for 46 yards in one carry and nearly made it into the end zone, save for a closing tackle by Adoree’ Jackson.

Harris rushed for 56 yards in three carries.

Jalen Hurts, a freshman, has started to settle into a rhythm.

Hurts has completed five of eight passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. He’s rushed for 12 yards in five carries.


USC’s offense struggling against fast Alabama defense

USC went three-and-out for a third consecutive series.

Tailbacks Aca’Cedric Ware and Ronald Jones II rushed for four yards in consecutive carries before Max Browne’s third-down pass to Darreus Rogers fell incomplete.

USC cannot have any lapses on defense with how well Alabama’s defense has played.


Alabama leads USC, 7-3, in the second quarter

Jalen Hurts completed a 39-yard pass to ArDarius Stewart for a touchdown to give Alabama a 7-3 lead over USC.

The scoring drive covered 36 yards in three plays.

Stewart beat cornerback Iman Marshall on the play.

USC’s defense looked sharp to start the drive. Adoree’ Jackson made a tackle in the box and Marvell Tell tackled O.J. Howard for a loss of three yards after a catch.


Alabama’s defense closes fast

Max Browne and USC’s offense started the game fast but have since been shut down by Alabama’s defense.

Browne went three-and-out for a second consecutive series.

Alabama’s defense has kept pressure on Browne and when he has been able to get the ball out, the defense closes with incredible speed.

Browne is eight of 14 for 68 yards.

USC has rushed for two yards in 13 carries.


Photos: USC vs. Alabama

USC quarterback Max Browne picks up some yards while being pursued by the Alabama defense in the first quarter Saturday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)


USC still leads Alabama, 3-0, in second quarter

USC’s defense held, again, and the Trojans maintain a 3-0 lead over Alabama in the second quarter.

Jalen Hurts remained at quarterback for Alabama, but the freshman was unable to move the Crimson Tide into scoring position.

Calvin Ridley caught a 10-yard pass on third down and Damien Harris rushed for nine yards in three carries on the drive.

USC’s Noah Jefferson, who was slowed at the beginning of training camp because of his back, made a couple of tackles.

Adoree’ Jackson, who has played only on defense and special teams, kept Calvin Ridley from making a deep catch on the first play of the drive.


Alabama’s defensive line sacks Max Browne, again

Alabama’s defensive line has started to pummel USC.

Tailback Justin Davis rushed for one yard before Reuben Foster laid a huge hit on him.

Max Browne was sacked, again, by Jonathan Allen and then Davis could only gain three yards on third down.

USC punted.


Alabama goes three-and-out, again

USC’s defense has looked better than expected and Alabama is forced into another three-and-out.

Alabama’s offense should look familiar to USC fans. Overthought. Lane Kiffin should be running the football.

Who knows exactly what he’s doing instead.


USC recovers fumble, can’t convert into a score

USC didn’t capitalize on a turnover.

Jalen Hurts, a freshman, was in at quarterback for Alabama and he fumbled the ball on his first play. Linebacker Cameron Smith recovered and the Trojans took over on Alabama’s 48-yard line.

Lane Kiffin seems to have gotten a little too cute on his play calling.

But the Trojans burned another timeout -- their third and final of the first half -- after apparent confusion.

Ronald Jones II rushed for two yards before Max Browne was sacked by Jonathan Allen. Browne, under duress, threw the ball away on third and long.


Bad field position makes for quick three-and-out for USC

USC started on its own two-yard line and had nowhere to go.

Ronald Jones II, in his first carry of the game, rushed for one yard.

Max Browne had to throw the ball away on second down and Jones was stuffed on third down.

The Alabama defensive line is starting to wreak havoc.


USC’s defense forces Alabama into three-and-out

Alabama went three and out.

USC’s defense looks sharp under defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast.

On third and five, Blake Barnett completed a short pass to O.J. Howard and he was stopped short of a first down by safety Chris Hawkins.

Alabama’s punter, JK Scott, is unbelievable to watch. His punt? Down at the two-yard line. Tough field position for USC to start a drive.


USC turns ball over on downs

USC turned the ball over on downs after Max Browne started to put together a nice drive.

Browne was sacked on fourth and eight at the Alabama 37-yard line.

Earlier in the drive, Browne completed a seven-yard pass to Steven Mitchell on third down. Later, when facing third and 10, Browne scrambled for 17 yards.

He has looked terrific in his first start at quarterback.


USC’s defense holds on third down

USC’s Michael Hutchings and Leon McQuay Jr. made a huge play on third down, sacking Blake Barnett and forcing Alabama to punt.

Barnett, from Corona Santiago High, started at quarterback for Alabama.

The Crimson Tide got off to a quick start offensively when ArDarius Stewart rushed for 17 yards, but the Trojans defense stifled the Crimson Tide on the next three plays.

Hutchings and McQuay, once buried on the depth chart, are two players who have benefited from the return of defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, who they played for in 2013.


You have to see this field goal to believe it

Matt Boermeester has just enough leg to convert a 47-yard field goal for the Trojans, who have a 3-0 lead on the Crimson Tide.


USC leads Alabama, 3-0, in first quarter

USC takes a 3-0 lead after kicker Matt Boermeester puts just enough behind his kick to make a 47-yard field goal. It is Boermeester’s first field goal of his USC career.

The scoring drive went six plays and covered 46 yards.

The highlight was a 36-yard pass from Max Browne to Darreus Rogers on the second play of the series.

Browne was told during camp to take more shots down the field.


Energy pouring from USC players

USC players could hardly be contained when they came out of the tunnel at AT&T Stadium for warmups. It’s apparent they have waited a long time for this game against top-ranked Alabama.


Lane Kiffin has a soft spot for USC fans

Former USC coach Lane Kiffin, now the offensive coordinator at Alabama, left the field after warmups and tossed a Jolly Rancher to... a USC fan.


Less than two hours until kickoff in Arlington

There’s less than two hours until 20th-ranked USC and top-ranked Alabama kick off in the Advocare Classic.

USC Coach Clay Helton brought his players to AT&T Stadium on Friday for a walk-through. It likely was beneficial for the Trojans -- this stadium certainly has a wow factor unlike any other when you walk into it. The jumbotron appears larger than jumbo.

Alabama is 3-0 in games played at AT&T Stadium.

The fan ratio between the Trojans and Crimson Tide appears close. The city of Dallas has been blanketed in fans wearing Cardinal and Gold as well as Crimson and White.

Alabama, the defending national champion, is likely to play two quarterbacks, Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett, who is from Corona Santiago High.

Quarterback Max Browne will make his first start for USC after winning the job over Sam Darnold in training camp.


A war of (silk-screened) words

The T-shirt war began in USC’s bookstore.

There, a shirt appeared, mocking Alabama’s “Roll Tide” tagline.

“ROLL TEARS ROLL,” the T-shirt said.

A few days later, the response came.

“OUR O.J. ONLY KILLED CLEMSON,” the T-shirt, posted on, announced, referring to Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, who tore apart Clemson’s defense in last season’s national championship game.

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Get ready for some awkwardness, as well as Lane Kiffin and Alabama

Believe what you want, listen to everyone make nice, trust that it’s going to be strictly a contest of helmets and pads and two historic football teams, but understand one very human truth.

Lane Kiffin began trolling USC about Saturday’s game with Alabama nearly eight months ago.

You remember it now, right? Of course you do.

Kiffin is still the pebble in the sockless loafer of Trojan fans, rattling around in there for about three years now, digging into the softest skin at the most uncomfortable times, and the former USC coach poked again last winter from his perch as Alabama’s offensive coordinator.

During an interview before January’s national title game, Kiffin was asked about his former assistant, Clay Helton, and he just couldn’t help himself.

“This morning my son Knox says, ‘Hey Daddy, we’re going to be in Dallas and we’re going to whip USC next year,’’’ he said. “I didn’t think about it, but now that I think about it, I can’t help Clay.’’

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