LEXINGTON, Ky. -- No. 1 Alabama didn't cede much Saturday, but holding Kentucky to a season low in yards and points wasn't enough to satisfy the insatiable Crimson Tide. Alabama shook off a slow start and dominated the final three quarters, topping the Wildcats 48-7 in a Southeastern Conference game. Kentucky's 170 yards of total offense were a season low both for the Wildcats' offense and the Tide's defense. But Kentucky's one touchdown, a 30-yard pass from Maxwell Smith to Javess Blue in the third quarter when the game was already out of hand, kept it from being a perfect showing for Nick Saban's defense. "We turned the ball over a couple times, dropped some passes. If you want to be the best, you can't be satisfied with that, so there are some things we definitely need to improve on," Saban said. The Crimson Tide 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 on their lone scoring drive. Alabama (6-0, 3-0) finished with 668 yards of total offense, the most it has gained in a game since it had 833 against Virginia Tech in 1973. Quarterback AJ McCarron finished with 359 yards and one touchdown, and most of those yards were amassed on short and medium-length passes. "It's big to throw the ball short and have some explosive plays," McCarron said. "We had not really had that before the last two weeks. It's big for us and it helps (the team) as an offense." Both Alabama running backs, Kenyan Drake and T.J. Yeldon, scored two touchdowns 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 spraining his left ankle. 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 and Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said he was unsure how long Whitlow would be out. Kentucky's defense held the game to a scoreless tie at the end of the first quarter because of two 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, losing the ball as he headed toward the end zone. Kentucky recovered it at its 1-yard line. "They drove it down there, and we'd get the turnover, and they kept us back there, playing great defense," Stoops said. "Even though we got a couple of turnovers, we were still behind the eight-ball most of the night and chasing it. It was an uphill climb." But because of Alabama's defense, the Wildcats did nothing with either turnover. On the other side, Alabama's two drives after turnovers were the first of nine consecutive drives to enter the red zone, and they were the only two of the 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 the 30-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Blue. It was the first passing touchdown that 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 except in its 49-42 win over the Aggies on Sept. 14. "They're the No. 1 team for a reason," Kentucky cornerback Eric Dixon said. "I think we gave all we had that first half, but we didn't come out with that edge. They just wore us down. Their big, bad offensive linemen, they wore us down, and we didn't execute." NOTES: Alabama is now 36-2-1 in its all-time series against Kentucky 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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