Final Score: Alabama 48, Kentucky 7
Alabama dominated all phases of the game against Kentucky in a 48-7 win Saturday night. The Crimson Tide look like one of the best teams in the country, but this was not very good competition.
Our grades for the Crimson Tide performance are below.
For the full box score, check out NCAA.com.
Game Analysis for the Alabama Crimson Tide
Putting up a career-high 359 passing yards in about three quarters is great output fromA.J. McCarron after a slow start. “Game manager,“ indeed. The receivers and backs also stopped dropping the ball, which ended the offensive futility from the first half.
T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake each contributed two touchdowns and over 100 yards, helping the Tide roll to nearly 300 yards rushing. That output will get the job done against any SEC team, let alone the Wildcats.
Although Kentucky’s backup quarterback, Maxwell Smith, is a better passer than the starter, Alabama never let him get going outside of one touchdown drive. That touchdown is the only black mark on the defense this game.
Kentucky admirably did not abandon the run, but Raymond Sanders and Jojo Kemp still could not get to a total of over 100 yards, largely thanks to minus-18 yards of rushing from Smith. This was a great performance from Alabama led by solid tackling and a dominant defensive line performance.
Cade Foster had a perfect night with two field goals to do his part. The return unit was also impressive: Christion Jones broke off a couple of 30-yard returns to keep Kentucky in negative field position all night.
Nick Saban showed his prowess and kept his players motivated. Some small discipline issues (personal foul, dropped passes) to fix, but it was a good game plan again versus an easily-overlooked opponent.
First-Half Analysis for the Alabama Crimson Tide
A.J. McCarron has made some good decisions in the face of solid coverage, but a couple of big plays have been narrowly thwarted by inaccurate throws.
The receivers dropping the ball and being locked down too long in coverage has to change going forward.
Kenyan Drake and T.J. Yeldon each have about 70 yards and a touchdown, but both made inexcusable fumbles in the red zone.
If Kentucky keeps missing tackles, look for huge, gashing runs to continue.
Alabama is generating a solid pass rush and preventing big plays from Wildcats backup Maxwell Smith.
Holding Kentucky to 21 yards in the first half is total domination by the Crimson Tide.
Raymond Sanders has broken off a pair of 10-yard runs, but that is substantially all Alabama has allowed thus far.
The defensive front could very well hold another opponent under 100 yards total in this game.
A 30-yard punt return by Christion Jones sparked the first touchdown, and Alabama has not looked back.
That, plus a field goal from Cade Foster, has amounted to positive contributions from this unit so far.
The defense has been called masterfully so far, and the offense would be fine if it weren’t for the turnovers.
Alabama should remain balanced offensively to keep Kentucky off-guard in the second half.
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