No. 3 Alabama runs past No. 20 Wisconsin 35-17 in opener - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

No. 3 Alabama runs past No. 20 Wisconsin 35-17 in opener

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Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) carries against Wisconsin defenders T.J. Edwards (53) and Leon Jacobs, bottom, during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) carries against Wisconsin defenders T.J. Edwards (53) and Leon Jacobs, bottom, during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Arlington, Texas.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -

Derrick Henry is leading No. 3 Alabama in rushing again, this time as the featured back.

After being the Crimson Tide's leading rusher last season while backing up a second-round NFL draft pick, Henry took over as the No. 1 guy Saturday night. He ran for 147 yards with three touchdowns in a season-opening 35-17 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin.

Jake Coker got the starting nod at quarterback for Alabama, and was 15 of 21 passing for 213 yards. His 17-yard TD to Robert Foster in the second quarter broke a 7-7 tie and put the Tide ahead to stay in the NFL stadium where they had wanted to end last season.

Henry's 13 carries included a 37-yard TD run on Alabama's second drive, then scores of 56 and 2 yards in the third quarter. On the 56-yarder, Henry took a handoff from Coker, shot through an opening on the left side of the line with only one defender, even swiping a hand on him before outracing everyone to the end zone.

Kenyan Drake added a 43-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. Cooper Bateman, the second Alabama quarterback, completed 7 of 8 passes for 51 yards.

Wisconsin's new starting running back Corey Clement struggled mightily, with 16 yards on eight carries - only one after halftime before leaving the game with a left groin injury. He had averaged 7 yards per carry with seven 100-yard games his first two seasons, even while starting only once.

The Badgers were held to 40 yards rushing, their lowest total since 19 against Michigan State on Oct. 27, 2012, and had only 268 total yards in former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst's first game as head coach. They had averaged 264 yards per game on the ground over the previous five seasons.

Joel Stave, in his 29th start as Wisconsin's quarterback, was 26 of 39 passing for 228 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

The AdvoCare Classic was played in the Dallas Cowboys' stadium where the first College Football Playoff championship game was played last January.

Alabama didn't make it that far, losing in a national semifinal to eventual national champion Ohio State, which had beaten Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten championship game.

The Crimson Tide's last national title was in 2012, which was their third in four years under coach Nick Saban. That season opened in the same kickoff game with a 41-14 victory over No. 8 Michigan at the stadium that is home of the Cotton Bowl, one of the national semifinal games this season.

Henry ran for a team-high 990 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, when he was behind T.J. Yeldon. Now Henry gets his chance as the Tide's No. 1 runner, following in line behind Yeldon, Eddie Lacy, Trent Richardson and 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.

Clement last season ran for 949 yards and TDs in the same backfield with Heisman runner-up Melvin Gordon (2,587 yards and 29 TDs).

Gordon and Clement combined for 3,536 yards rushing last season, breaking the FBS record for yards by teammates. Gordon had combined with James White for 3,053 yards in 2013.

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