Alderman's reception pulled the Owls, who trailed at halftime, 17-3, to within 23-17 early in the fourth quarter. And while the Owls ultimately fell short in their comeback bid, it was another play that demonstrated how far Alderman, a fifth-year senior who walked onto the team in 2009 has come this season.
The touchdown was Alderman's first of his career. He finished with five receptions for a team-high 88 yards. For the season, Alderman has caught a team-high 15 passes for a team-leading 221 yards. Alderman also leads the Owls, who host No. 7 Louisville on Saturday, in yards per catch (14.7).
Alderman appeared in 36 games the previous three seasons. However, the nine passes Alderman caught in the first two games were more than he had in caught in the last two seasons combined.
"The only way I make those plays is that as a group we do everything right," Alderman said of his touchdown. "We protect, make a good throw. It's not just me. I'm in the right place at the right time. But as a whole we need to make more plays. That's what it comes down to."
Doing everything right is something that has not happened much for the Owls this season. And in the next two weeks they will be severely tested. After facing Louisville, they hit the road for a game against 3-1 Cincinnati.
"It's tough right now," Alderman said. "We're definitely hitting a lot of adversity now. We're going to see who our real players are in these upcoming weeks."