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Alabama 48, Kentucky 7

The SportsXchange

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- No. 1 Alabama was sloppy early in the first half against Kentucky on Saturday night, losing two fumbles in the first quarter on drives deep into Wildcats territory. Still, the Crimson Tide shook off their slow start and dominated the final three quarters, topping the Wildcats 48-7.

The Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0) defense was airtight on nearly every drive it was on the field. Kentucky (1-5, 0-3) had 62 yards of total offense in the first half on 24 plays from scrimmage, and the Wildcats did not cross midfield until well into the third quarter.

Alabama finished with a season-high 668 yards of total offense, and it allowed 170 yards to the Wildcats. Quarterback AJ McCarron finished with 359 yards and one touchdown.

Both Alabama running backs, Kenyan Drake and T.J. Yeldon, scored two touchdowns Saturday, and both did so in making up for first-half fumbles deep in Kentucky territory. Yeldon finished with 124 yards, and Drake had 106 yards. It was the first time in school history an Alabama team had a 300-yard passer and two 100-yard rushers in a game.

Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow left the game in the first quarter after suffering a left ankle injury. He dropped back to pass on a third-down play, and his leg was caught under him as he was sacked. He did not return to the game.

Kentucky's defense held the game to a scoreless tie at the end of the first quarter because of a pair of Alabama fumbles in the red zone. Drake coughed up the first -- the ball was knocked out as he crossed the Kentucky 20-yard line on first down, and cornerback Fred Tiller recovered the ball at his own 13-yard line.

Yeldon was responsible for the second turnover, coughing up the ball as he headed toward the end zone. Kentucky recovered it at its 1-yard line.

But because of Alabama's defense, the Wildcats did nothing with either turnover. On the other side, the two turnover drives for Alabama were the first of nine consecutive drives to enter the red zone, and they were the only two of those nine to end without Alabama scores.

Kentucky got on the board in the third quarter on a nine-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Maxwell Smith to Javess Blue. It was the first passing touchdown Alabama has given up this season to a quarterback other than Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, and it was only the second touchdown Alabama has surrendered at all excepting its 49-42 win over the Aggies on Sept. 14.

NOTES: Alabama is now 36-2-1 in its all-time series against the Wildcats and have won the last four meetings. Both of Kentucky's wins in the series have been in Lexington. ... The Wildcats faced a top-20 opponent for their fourth game in a row, a school record. They lost all four games against No. 7 Louisville, No. 19 Florida and No. 13 South Carolina and No. 1 Alabama. ... Alabama had four total turnovers this season before Saturday, and it had no more than one in a game.
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