Alabama spent most of the first half with a different look in its pass defense packages.

Sophomore defensive back Daniel Wright and freshman defensive back Jordan Battle saw much more of the field than they did in the season opener against Duke. They often occupied the deep safety positions with Patrick Surtain II moving from Star to corner to create room for Jared Mayden or Shyheim Carter at Star and Xavier McKinney at Money.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said after the game he wasn't too pleased with how "the twos" performed in the latter stages of the game. McKinney said those mistakes are correctable and more mental than anything else.

“This team threw the ball a lot and gave us a challenge for sure,” said McKinney, who led the team with five solo tackles, six total. “We got the win but there are always things that we can correct. We know we have a lot of things to work on and (Saban) knows that, too, so he was making sure we know it."


Alfano update

Saban addressed the status of freshman defensive lineman Antonio Alfano after the game, who has been absent from recent practices and from the New Mexico State game.

“He’s going through some discipline things with me,” Saban said. “I’m not going to tell you what — whether it’s academic, if that has something to do with it — and being responsible and being accountable for what he’s supposed to do like every other player on the team.

"We want to get him right, we want to help him do the right things, but he’s got to make those choices and decisions, too."

Alfano’s presence, if it comes soon, could factor into the defensive line finding improved depth, which Saban said on Wednesday he hopes to develop.


Injury update

Freshman defensive end Justin Eboigbe was fully padded and participating in pregame warmups, but during the game he was not in pads with a boot on his left foot. Saban said on Wednesday he hoped Eboigbe would be back, “in a week or two,” after recovering from his foot injury. Offensive linemen Emil Ekiyor Jr. and Chris Owens were also not in pads; Saban did not provide an update timeline for their return.

Defensive back Trevon Diggs left the game after making a touchdown-saving tackle. Saban said afterward it was cramps and Diggs will be fine for next week's game with South Carolina.


Reichard makes first field goal

After hitting both uprights on his only two field-goal attempts in the season-opener against Duke, Alabama freshman kicker Will Reichard found redemption in the waning moments of the second quarter against New Mexico State.

Reichard trotted out to salvage a late Crimson Tide drive that stalled at the New Mexico State 30-yard line. To the delight of the heat-weary Bryant-Denny Stadium crowd, Reichard made his first career field goal on a 48-yard attempt with 1:04 remaining.

He followed that ice-breaking kick with a 49-yard field goal with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter that gave Alabama a 55-7 lead.

The last time Alabama made a field goal 50 yards or longer occurred on Nov. 28, 2015, when Adam Griffith kicked a 50-yarder against the Auburn Tigers.


Jeudy moves into second

After catching three touchdown passes against New Mexico State, Alabama junior wide receiver Jerry Jeudy moved into second place for career touchdown receptions.

Jeudy caught two from Tua Tagovailoa and one from Mac Jones to take sole possession of second place with 20 career touchdown receptions. He surpassed Calvin Ridley, who had been second with 19, and trails leader Amari Cooper, who holds the current record with 31.

Henry Ruggs III also added to his career touchdowns after catching a 10-yard pass from Tagovailoa in the second quarter. The touchdown pushed Ruggs total to 18 and into a fourth-place tie with Dennis Homan.


Champions return

The 1989 Alabama team was honored before the game. The 1989 team went 10-2 and won the SEC title and was coached by Bill Curry, who was at the game, along with several members from the team. Marco Battle and Lee Ozmint were honorary captains for the game.


Message received

In the first quarter Jaylen Waddle failed to field a Rugby-style punt from Payton Theisler and the ball rolled to the Alabama 12. The kick went for 55 yards. Nick Saban met Waddle on the sideline to voice his displeasure with the decision. Later in the second quarter Waddle snagged another Theisler kick in mid-air and zigzagged his way across the field for a 24-yard return.


Brett Hudson, Michael Southern and Edwin Stanton contributed to this report.