Alabama Football: Tide names 7 Players of the Week after Vanderbilt win

The Alabama Crimson Tide named offensive players Marquis Maze, Brad Smelley and Michael Williams, defensive players Mark Barron and Dont’a Hightower and special teams players Cade Foster and DeQuan Menzie as Players of the Week. Here is the official release (courtesy of UA Media Relations):

Seven Alabama players were recognized for their outstanding play by the coaching staff following the Crimson Tide’s 34-0 win Saturday night against Vanderbilt as announced by head coach Nick Saban. Wide receiver Marquis Maze and tight ends Brad Smelley and Michael Williams were named players of the week on offense while safety Mark Barron and linebacker Dont’a Hightower represented the defense. On special teams, Cade Foster and DeQuan Menzie were selected.

Maze led the Crimson Tide with a career-high nine catches and totaled 93 yards against the Commodores. He had seven catches for 67 yards in the first half and five of his receptions resulted in first downs. Smelley hauled in three passes for 19 yards and one touchdown. He scored the first TD of the game with a six-yard reception, which was also the first of his career. Williams did not have a catch, but was credited along with Smelley, for his outstanding blocking. The run game produced 153 yards, led by Trent Richardson’s fifth-straight 100-yard performance.

The defense recorded the second shutout of the season and held Vandy to just 190 total yards with eight first downs. Barron led the team with six total tackles (four solo) with 1.5 TFL and 2 pass break-ups. Hightower was next on the stat sheet with five stops (two solo) and helped hold the Commodores to 41 yards on the ground. Alabama leads the SEC in all four major categories and leads the nation in scoring defense (7.0 ppg) and rushing defense (39.8 ypg).

Foster handled the kickoff duties for the Tide and recorded a pair of tackles while covering kicks. He averaged 63.2 yards on five kickoffs and Vandy’s average start was the 28.2. Menzie was credited for his work as a gunner on punt team as well as a his role on punt return in holding up the opposing team’s gunners. Menzie finished the game with two tackles and the Commodores returned just one punt for (-4) yards.