Alabama-Wisconsin grades: Henry stars, Coker solid in debut
Here are the top takeaways from Saturday’s Wisconsin-Alabama game, including the highest-graded players for each team:
— While quarterback Joel Stave enjoyed working from a clean pocket (14-of-18, 144 yards, 1 TD), he went just 1-of-10 for 14 yards and a pick when pressured.
— Linebacker Joe Schobert notched a pair of sacks as part of his six-tackle, four-stop performance and graded positively in both run defense and as a pass rusher.
— An eventful day for wide receiver Alex Erickson as he brought in five of the eight passes he saw, taking one of those for a score while dropping one and watching as one was intercepted.
LB Vince Biegel (+4.1)
LB Joe Schobert (+2.4)
QB Joel Stave (+0.9)
WR Alex Erickson (+0.8)
CB Sojourn Shelton (+0.8)
Alabama Crimson Tide:
— Running back Derrick Henry picked up 118 of his 147 rushing yards after contact — an average of more than nine yards after contact per attempt. He earned an impressive +2.3 grade and a crazy-good 181.5 elusive rating — our measure of how difficult a running back is to tackle. Henry looks like a star in the making.
— Lighting up the stat sheet, linebacker Reggie Ragland logged nine tackles and seven defensive stops to go along with a hit and a hurry as a pass-rusher.
— Wide receiver Robert Foster posted a perfect day, catching all four targets that came his way for 50 yards and a touchdown (good for an NFL passer rating of 158.3 on those plays).
— Quarterback Jake Coker (+1.5) had a solid debut as the Crimson Tide’s starter, posting a very good 77.3 accuracy percentage, although he didn’t connect on any passes 20 or more yards downfield (0 for 3). Backup Cooper Bateman (-0.5) also saw the field, and didn’t even attempt a throw of 20-plus yards, but he did complete 7 of his 8 passes.
C Ryan Kelly (+4.6)
TE O.J. Howard (+3.3)
DT Jarran Reed (+3.1)
G Alphonse Taylor (+2.8)
LB Denzel Devall (+2.7)