TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Tua Tagovailoa passed for 293 yards and five touchdowns in just three quarters and No. 2 Alabama rolled to a 49-7 victory over Southern Miss on Saturday.
Tagovailoa had his second straight five-TD game and the Crimson Tide (4-0) raced to a 28-0 lead in the first 19 minutes in yet another lopsided victory. Last season’s Heisman Trophy runner-up completed 17 of 21 passes.
The Golden Eagles (2-2) couldn’t keep up with speedy Tide receiver Henry Ruggs III early. Ruggs had a career high in receiving yards even before the first quarter ended, with touchdowns of 45 and 74 yards in the opening nine minutes.
He finished with four catches for 148 yards, all in the first half and all on four targets. He sprinted to the end zone on a slant pattern for the 45-yarder, then topped that after slowing down to catch the ball before accelerating to the end zone.
There were plenty of big plays to go around for an offense that had back-to-back 91-yard scoring drives.
Najee Harris gained 110 yards on 14 carries to become the Tide’s first 100-yard rusher since last season’s LSU game. Jerry Jeudy caught a pair of TD passes and finished with 96 yards on six catches.
For Southern Miss, De’Michael Harris had 34 yards rushing with 50 yards and a touchdown receiving. Jack Abraham completed 17 for 26 passes for 174 yards.
Alabama’s injuries continue to pile up. Linebacker Terrell Lewis missed the game with an unspecified injury. Christopher Allen started in his place. Nose guard DJ Dale was helped to the locker room late in the first half with an apparent leg injury. Placekicker Will Reichard left the game after a kickoff in the first quarter and Joseph Bulovas handled the duties after that.
Southern Miss: Couldn’t cash in with points on three early trips into Alabama territory. Was outgained 514-226 in total yards.
Alabama: Just keeps rolling along, but its toughest games await. Tagovailoa now has 17 touchdown passes without throwing an interception this season. The biggest test for the Tide could be overcoming all the injuries.
Tagovailoa’s fourth TD pass made him the second Alabama quarterback to reach 70. AJ McCarron has the school career mark with 77.
Southern Miss returns home to face UTEP.
Alabama hosts SEC West opponent Mississippi.