The undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide added to their record with a dominating – but sloppy early – win over the struggling Kentucky Wildcats with a combination of pummeling offense and smothering defense.
The Alabama offense was dominating and Kentucky clearly were overmatched and had absolutely no answer all night long. It was the first time in school history Alabama had a 300-yard passer and two 100-yard rushers in the same game.
A deadly efficient AJ McCarron threw for 359 yards and both T.J. Yeldon (124 yards) and Kenyan Drake (106 yards) went over 100 yards rushing. Drake’s 106 yards was a career high. Both Drake and Yeldon had two touchdowns while McCarron threw for another. McCarron’s numbers would have been even better with at least one more score had there not been several drops (more on that later), and both Drake and Yeldon had early fumbles deep in Kentucky territory, but even with those missteps the offense rolled up 668 yards and completed 10 of 14 third down conversions.
Alabama’s defense was smothering yet again, holding Kentucky to just 170 total yards and just 2-of-12 on third downs. For the first time since the Texas A&M game, Alabama allowed a touchdown as Kentucky scored for the first and only time late in the third quarter.
Freshman A’Shawn Robinson continues to get better and better as the weeks progress. He harassed the Kentucky quarterbacks all night and recorded a career-high six tackles and two sacks. Jarrick Williams and Ed Stinson added one sack apiece as well, and C.J. Mosley once again led the team in with seven. Mosley’s command of the defense continues to be one of the more impressive aspects of the Alabama defense. Eddie Jackson missed out on getting his fourth start of the year, as he sat out with the injury he suffered against Georgia State, but Bradley Sylve played extremely well in his place as the young Alabama DBs continue to grow before our eyes.
Dropped passes were horrendous for the Tide. Kenny Bell dropped two sure first downs, one of which was on the first drive on a third down. Drake, Yeldon, and Jalston Fowler each dropped passes as well. Yeldon’s was a sure score as he was streaking down the sideline all alone and Fowler’s, near the endzone, was a possible TD as well. To Bell’s credit he acknowledged his poor play after the game via twitter commenting, “this had to be my worst game ever.”
AJ McCarron showed the kind of leader he is by not letting the drops get to him and continued to play extremely efficient football.
Yeldon and Drake had fumbles on back-to-back drives early in the game as Alabama was methodically marching toward the end zone on both drives. It didn’t seem to shake either, as they went on to score twice each and go over 100 yards. Fumbles could be much more costly in upcoming games, however, especially with LSU coming to call.
Final stats for the Tide are below.
AJ McCarron: 21-35, 359 yards, 1 TD
Blake Sims: 1-1, 10 yards
TJ Yeldon: 16 carries, 124 yards, 2 TD
Kenyan Drake: 14 carries, 106 yards, 2 TD
Altee Tenpenny: 5 carries, 21 yards, 1 TD
Derrick Henry: 3 carries, 16 yards
Christion Jones: 1 carry, 14 yards
Dee Hart: 2 carries, 9 yards
AJ McCarron: 2 carries, 8 yards
Blake Sims: 1 carry, 1 yard
Kevin Norwood: 4 catches, 81 yards, 1 TD
DeAndrew White: 4 catches, 80 yards
Amari Cooper: 3 catches, 64 yards
Kenyan Drake: 3 catches, 44 yards
Christion Jones: 3 catches, 23 yards
OJ Howard: 2 catches, 37 yards
TJ Yeldon: 2 catches, 30 yards
Parker Barrineau: 1 catch, 10 yards
CJ Mosley: 7 tackles
A’Shawn Robinson: 6 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks
Darren Lake: 5 tackles
Jarrick Williams: 5 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, 1.0 sack
Adrian Hubbard: 3 tackles
Trey DePriest: 3 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss
Vinnie Sunseri: 3 tackles, 2 pass breakups
Landon Collins: 2 tackles
Bradley Sylve: 2 tackles, 1 pass breakup
Jeoffrey Pagan: 2 tackles
Ed Stinson: 2 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, 1.0 sack
Reuben Foster: 2 tackles
Altee Tenpenny: 2 tackles
Brandon Ivory: 1 tackle
Denzel Devall: 1 tackle
Cade Foster: 1 tackle
John Fulton: 1 tackle
Cyrus Jones: 1 tackle
Dillon Lee: 1 tackle
LaMichael Fanning: 1 tackle
Kenyan Drake: 1 tackle
Anthony Orr: 1 tackle
Geno Smith: 1 pass breakup
Malcome Faciane: 1 pass breakup
Tana Patrick: 1 pass breakup
Cade Foster: 2/2 FGs (long: 25 yards), 6/6 XPs
Cody Mandell: 1 punt, 47 yards
Christion Jones: 3 punt returns, 52 yards; 2 kickoff returns, 49 yards