COLUMBIA, Mo. — Alabama had three injuries of note Saturday in a 42-10 win at Missouri, although Tide coach Nick Saban indicated afterward they aren’t serious.
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron went down in the third quarter with a twisted knee. He will be evaluated again today, but on Saturday, he didn’t miss a play because of the injury.
“That was the doctor’s decision,” Saban said. “Doc said he was OK to go back in, and AJ wanted to play. If he was OK to go back in, there was no reason not to put him back in. We were ahead 28-10, and another score would’ve put them back in the game.”
Alabama receiver Kevin Norwood said this after seeing McCarron go down: “We’re about to have a bunch of running plays.”
According to Saban, Alabama running back Eddie Lacy bruised his hand, but he still carried 18 times for 177 yards. Also, receiver Christion Jones sprained his ankle, but after the game, he walked off the field without limping.
Missouri player goes down
Missouri tight end Eric Waters was taken off the field on a stretcher in the closing moments Saturday, and Tigers head coach Gary Pinkel said that was done as a precaution.
Pinkel said the extent of his injury isn’t known, but the player will be evaluated.
He was tackled near the sideline after making a catch, and as he went to the ground, his head hit the turf. He laid on the turf as team trainers and emergency personnel attended to him. He was put on a stretcher with his head and neck immobilized, and he was removed from the field.
Saturday’s game was delayed for 38 minutes midway through the second quarter because of lightning, and that’s believed to be the first time Alabama has left the field early because of weather in 18 years.
The Crimson Tide had a weather delay in a 1994 win over Ole Miss.
Saturday’s delay came with 8:40 to play in the second quarter, and with the two teams so close to intermission, Saban, Pinkel and the officials agreed to shorten halftime to five minutes.
“They asked Nick and me to decide about halftime and how we wanted to handle it,” Pinkel said. “We went out there and talked about it. We said let’s treat it like an overtime with a five-minute segment and then go through there. That’s what we ended up doing.”
Tigers’ TD return
Missouri’s only touchdown came on a 98-yard kickoff return by Marcus Murphy in the second quarter — the second play after the teams returned from the delay.
But Saban didn’t blame the delay on the return. He said the Tide was hurt by the loss of special teams star Dee Hart, who was lost for the season after a knee injury against Ole Miss two weeks ago.
“We didn’t have him, and his substitute — that’s the guy who didn’t do the right thing on that play,” Saban said.
Big day on ground
Alabama rushed for a season-high 362 yards, and the Tide’s Lacy said it’s easy to figure out who deserves the credit.
“The offensive line dominated,” Lacy said. “When we had big runs, it’s because the hole was there.”
T.J. Moe talks defeat
Missouri receiver T.J. Moe said this week he had hoped his team could duplicate Iowa State’s big win over Oklahoma State a year ago.
It wasn’t to be, but he gave praise to Alabama afterward.
“That is a really good football team,” said Moe, who finished with two catches for 19 yards. “I wouldn’t say we weren’t trying. We came out and didn’t really play our very best, but we certainly played better halfway through the second quarter and on. Sometimes it just happens like that.”