TUSCALOOSA, Ala. | Jalen Hurts and Alabama scored in a hurry, then did it again — and again.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide raced to a lead Saturday night, lost a chunk of it, then outlasted Colorado State 41-23 Saturday night.
Hurts passed for 248 yards and two long touchdowns and rushed for 103 yards for the Tide (3-0) in his best all-around game of the season. He ran for a 27-yard touchdown and hit on a career-long 78-yard scoring pass to Calvin Ridley and a 52-yarder to Robert Foster.
Foster’s catch and run came after Colorado State scored 10 straight points.
“I think it was huge, because they had gotten the momentum in the game,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. “We got ahead 17-0 and they scored two straight drives, a touchdown and field goal. For us to answer the bell and come back and score points on that drive was huge, especially going into the halftime.
“But you allow teams like this to think they can play with you and they do and they play better as the game goes on.”
The first three scoring drives for Alabama totaled 6 minutes, 23 seconds. One covered 95 yards in four plays.
Foster caught a pass on the left sideline and sprinted toward the middle before making his way to the end zone. It was his first touchdown catch since 2015.
“I’m happy he’s back in the end zone,” Hurts said.
Hurts completed 12 of 17 passes and mixed in 11 carries before spending most of the final quarter on the sideline. It was his second straight 100-plus yard rushing performance.
The first-quarter stats were utterly one-sided, with Alabama outgaining Colorado State 216-11.
The rest of the game was much more competitive in Alabama’s second straight matchup against a team from the Mountain West Conference.
“We started off slow,” Colorado State coach Mike Bobo said. “We forgot who we were playing, and were on our heels and that’s something we’ve got to correct. We were a little hesitant on both sides of the ball.”
Colorado State finished strong with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Colorado State had two promising second-half drives end with interceptions, with the second returned 65 yards by Hootie Jones to set up a touchdown.
Alabama tight end Morris Forristall left with what Saban said could be a season-ending knee injury.
Colorado State: The four-touchdown underdogs didn’t wilt under the early onslaught. Nick Stevens completed 21 of 38 passes for 247 yards. He passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third.
Alabama: It wasn’t a typical Bama defensive performance. The Tide allowed 391 yards and 10 of 17 third-down conversions after giving up 17 points combined in the first two games. “We didn’t execute,” Saban said. “That’s what happened.”
Offensively, Bo Scarbrough ran for 66 yards and his first touchdown of the season. Damien Harris added 53 yards and a score.
Saban was unapologetic after reinserting the offensive starters, including Hurts, on the final drive to run out the clock.
“We weren’t going to give them the ball back, that was the rationale,” he said. “Did I want to do that? No. If you want to criticize me for it, fine. But they weren’t going to get the ball back because we weren’t stopping them and they were trying to win the game.”
Ridley moved into a tie with Pro Football Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome for fourth on Alabama’s career list with his 16th touchdown catch. He also went over 2,000 yards in his career. He had three catches for 92 yards, all in the first half.
Colorado State: off next weekend before traveling to Hawaii.
Alabama: visits Vanderbilt in its Southeastern Conference opener and first game in an opponent’s stadium.