UK Football

Extra points: How Alabama beat Kentucky

Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops talks with defensive end Alvin Dupree (2) before the start of the fourth quarter as Kentucky plays Florida in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Amy Wallot
Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops talks with defensive end Alvin Dupree (2) before the start of the fourth quarter as Kentucky plays Florida in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Amy Wallot Herald-Leader

First half

Summary: The Tide was threatening when Eric Dixon forced a fumble and Fred Tiller recovered at the UK 13. Three plays later, UK quarterback Jalen Whitlow was sacked and helped off the field with a left ankle injury. He would not return. On Alabama's next possession, Tiller caused a fumble and Avery Williamson recovered at UK's 5. It was scoreless after a quarter — the first time this year Alabama was blanked in the first quarter. UK never entered Alabama's side of the field, and the Tide offense started clicking against a tired UK defense.

Halftime: Alabama 24, Kentucky 0

Thumbs up: Tiller caused and recovered a fumble while Dixon was making plays all over the place.

Thumbs down: Some untimely penalties hurt UK.

Worthy of a replay: Catch by Alabama's Kevin Norwood between two UK defenders at the UK 1-yard line to set up score.

Second half

Summary: Top-ranked Alabama began to flex its muscle. It needed only four plays to go 79 yards to open the second half.

It was clear UK was outmatched.

UK reached Alabama territory for the first time and capped off that drive with a 30-yard TD pass from Maxwell Smith to Javess Blue to make it 31-7. The UK defense scored a minor victory when it limited Alabama to a field goal. After that, the Tide rolled.

Final: Alabama 48, Kentucky 7

Thumbs up: Raymond Sanders ran hard and averaged 5.1 yards a carry.

Thumbs down: This one was not even a "moral" victory.

Worthy of a replay: The Smith-to-Blue TD connection across the middle.Talking points

■ When is the last time a better team than Alabama played in Commonwealth Stadium?

■ Will UK have to take a redshirt off a quarterback?

■ UK hoped to come out of this brutal four-game stretch without a lot of injuries. That may have changed Saturday.

■ Does UK have enough fight, confidence and healthy players to finish strong in the second half of the season against a more manageable schedule?

Numbers don't lie

■ As a defensive coordinator, Mark Stoops never gave up this many yards. Alabama had 35 first downs; Kentucky ran 52 plays.

■ First half: Alabama 22 first downs, 49 plays, 372 yards. Kentucky 4 first downs, 24 plays, 62 yards.

■ Kentucky had more punts (6) than first downs (4) in the first half.

■ Kentucky scored its first third-quarter points of the year.

■ For the first time in its rich tradition, Alabama had a 300-yard passer and two 100-yard rushers in the same game.

■ Kentucky has not turned the ball over in nine quarters.

Looking ahead

Kentucky visits Mississippi State Oct. 24. UK leads series 21-19, but State has won last four meetings.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

  Comments