(1) Alabama - 34, Kentucky - 6
October 1, 2016
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Sophomore wide receiver Calvin Ridley
had a career-best performance with 11 catches for 174 yards
and two scores, and the Crimson Tide defense produced
another dominant performance to lead top-ranked Alabama
(5-0 overall; 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference) to a
34-6 Homecoming victory over the Kentucky Wildcats (2-3
overall; 1-1 SEC) Saturday night in front of a capacity
crowd of 101,821 at Bryant-Denny Stadium on the Alabama
Alabama defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand (9) stops Kentucky
running back Benjamin Snell, Jr. (26) cold during the
second half Alabama's SEC football game with Kentucky,
Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in
Photo Credit - Vasha Huntemail@example.com
Ridley caught scoring passes of 10 and 19 yards from Tide
quarterback Jalen Hurts and also had a 46-yard catch to
highlight a solid performance by the Alabama offense.
Hurts threw for 262 yards and two scores on the night,
completing 20 of 33 attempts, while freshman running back
Joshua Jacobs rushed for 100 yards on 16 carries and caught
three passes for 54 yards on the night. Jacobs' rushing
outing marked his first 100-yard rushing performance for
Alabama was methodical after falling behind 3-0 early,
building a 17-3 halftime lead on Jacobs' one-yard touchdown
run and a 55-yard fumble return for a score by Tide
linebacker Ronnie Harrison in the second quarter. Ridley's
two touchdown catches came in the third quarter, putting
the game away at 31-3 entering the final period.
Overall, the Tide gained 488 yards (315 passing and 173
rushing), picked up 25 first downs, and averaged 6.5 yards
per play. Kentucky gained 161 yards (89 passing and 72
rushing), along with converting 12 first downs and
averaging 2.8 yards per play. Tide linebacker Shaun
Dion Hamilton recorded a team-best eight total tackles,
including four solos. As a unit, the Tide defense had
four quarterback sacks, nine tackles for loss, forced
three fumbles and was credited with six quarterback hurries.
Tide punter JK Scott punted only once, a boot that
traveled 58 yards. Placekicker Adam Griffith connected
on two of three field goal attempts, hitting from 44
and 24 yards, missing from 35.
Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson completed 13 of 22
passes for 89 yards without an interception or a touchdown.
UK running back JoJo Kemp led the team with 39 yards on
10 rushes while wide receiver Garrett Johnson had four
catches for 27 yards to lead the Wildcats. UK punter Grant
McKinnis averaged 44.7 yards on six punts, including a
long of 61 yards, while placekicker Austin MacGinnis made
both of his field goal attempts, from 45 and 30 yards, to
provide all of the Wildcats' points.
After Alabama took the opening kickoff and drove 35 yards
in six plays into Kentucky territory, the drive was stopped
on a failed fourth-down play when a pass from Hurts to
Cam Sims was dropped. From the Kentucky 36, the Wildcats
marched 36 yards in eight plays to take the early lead.
Williams opened the drive with a 10-yard run at left guard
and a 12-yard pass from Johnson to Tavin Richardson
converted a third-and-one into a first down at the Tide
33. Three plays later, MacGinnis entered the game and
kicked a 45-yard field goal that ricocheted off the left
goal post and was good. The Wildcats led, 3-0, with 8:52
left in the first quarter.
The next Tide drive ended abruptly with a turnover when,
on a first-down play from the Tide 49, Scarborough
inadvertently ran into Hurts' passing arm as he was raising
the ball to pass. Kentucky linebacker De'Niro Laster
recovered for the Wildcats at the Tide 43 with 6:44 left
in the opening period. The Cats quickly moved into scoring
range. Two runs by Williams gained seven yards before
Stephen Johnson passed to receiver Garrett Johnson across
the middle for 16 yards and a first down at the Tide 22.
One play later, on second-and-10 at the 22, Johnson
dropped back to pass and was sacked by Tide linebacker
Christian Miller and Ryan Anderson. Miller tackled
Johnson around the legs while Anderson came in to hit
him high. Anderson's hit on Johnson jarred the ball loose
and Anderson recovered at the Tide 31. The play resulted
in a loss of nine and gave Alabama the ball with 4:29
left in the first period.
Alabama took that turnover and turned it into points,
driving 35 yards in 11 plays to a field goal that tied
the game. Starting at its own 39, the Tide's march was
jump-started by an 11-yard run on a quarterback draw by
Hurts to the 50. Scarbrough gained nine on a pass to the
UK 41. Six plays later, from the UK 26, Griffith entered
the game and kicked a 44-yard field goal. That tied it,
3-3, with 1:15 left in the first quarter.
The Tide broke on top early in the second quarter. The
61-yard drive in seven plays could be called "The Joshua
Jacobs Show" as the freshman running back carried the ball
on the final six plays of the drive while accounting for
57 of the 61 yards on the march. Jacobs sparked the drive
with a 28-yard burst at left tackle to the UK 29 and had a
12-yarder to the UK nine before eventually scoring on a
one-yard plunge at left guard with 9:50 left in the second
quarter. Griffith's point-after kick was good, giving the
Tide a 10-3 lead.
Alabama's defense racked up yet another touchdown on the
next Kentucky possession. The Cats began at their own 31,
and moved to the UK 47 when disaster stuck in the form of
a sack of Stephen Johnson by Tide linebacker Rashaan Evans
for a loss of three yards. Johnson fumbled on the play
and Tide free safety Ronnie Harrison picked up the fumble
at the Alabama 45 and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.
Griffith kick was good and Alabama had a 17-3 lead with
6:56 left in the half. The touchdown marked the
seventh-consecutive game in which Alabama has scored a
non-offensive touchdown, a streak that leads the nation.
After another UK punt, Alabama moved 62 yards in 14 plays
but the drive ended fruitlessly as Griffith missed a
35-yard field goal try wide left with 44 seconds left
in the half.
After a Kentucky punt at the end of the first possession
of the second half, Alabama built on its lead by driving
78 yards in eight plays to a touchdown. Hurts and the
passing game keyed the march as the Tide passed on six of
the eight plays, including a key 46-yard pass to Ridley
to the UK 16. Ridley, who also had a 10-yard catch on the
second play of the march, capped the drive with a 10-yard
catch of Hurts' pass. Griffith's kick was good and Alabama
led, 24-3, with 10:58 left in the third quarter.
The Tide offense was starting to click. After a Kentucky
punt, Alabama took the ball at its own 24 with 8:49 left
in the third quarter. The Tide used some crisp passing by
Hurts for most of the 76-yard touchdown drive as the
freshman quarterback hit Ridley for four yards on the
first play on a screen pass, then Jacobs took a screen
pass and turned it into a 23-yard gain with nifty footwork
as he avoided three tackles on the play that reached the
Kentucky 49. One play later, Hurts hit Gehrig Dieter for
11 yards on a crossing pattern to the UK 33. Hurts then
gained eight on a keeper to the UK 24 behind a crushing
block by Scarbrough to the Wildcat 25 before Scarbrough
rushed around right end and ran on a tightrope for 14 to
the UK 11 (he had an apparent touchdown, but barely
stepped out of bounds). Hurts evaded a blitzer on the next
play and turned it into a seven-yard keeper to the UK 4
where Alabama called its first time out of the second half
with 4:53 left in the third quarter. During the timeout,
a replay review showed that Hurts was actually downed at
the UK 19 on the previous play which resulted in an
eight-yard loss to set up second-and-18 at the Kentucky
19. Hurts came right back and hit Ridley in the right
front corner of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown
pass with 4:31 left. Griffith kick was good and Alabama
Ridley's second touchdown catch of the game was his tenth
overall of the game, a new career single-game high for the
sophomore, giving him 131 receiving yards and two
touchdowns in the game.
Ridley built on those totals on Alabama's next possession.
Kentucky punted again and Xavian Marks took the punt off
a high bounce at the Tide 34 and returned it 15 yards to
set up Alabama at its 49. On the first play, Hurts hit
Ridley for 43 yards to the UK six, giving Ridley 11 catches
for 174 yards on the night. After Jacobs gained three on
a run at right tackle, a false start penalty stifled the
drive, moving Alabama back to the eight. Hurts kept for
two at left end, then a pass for a tightly-covered Ridley
in the end zone fell incomplete on third down on the first
play of the fourth quarter. That set up a 24-yard field
goal by Griffith, who was accurate to give the Tide a
34-3 lead with 14:51 left in the fourth period.
The Wildcats put together their best drive of the game on
the next possession, moving 63 yards in 16 plays to a field
goal. Jojo Kemp rushed seven times for 33 yards on the
march and Johnson completed three of four passes for 27
yards to key the drive, which stalled at the Tide 12.
MacGinnis nailed a 30-yard field goal from there to cut
three points off the Tide lead. Alabama led, 34-6, with
5:09 left in the fourth quarter.
That was how it ended as the Tide offense ran out the
remainder of the game time in eight plays, traveling 69
yards behind the leadership of backup quarterback Cooper
Bateman. Bateman completed all five of his pass attempts
on the drive, accounting for 53 yards.
Alabama's season continues next Saturday, October 8, when
the Crimson Tide is slated to visit the Arkansas Razorbacks
(4-1 overall; 0-1 in the SEC) at Donald W. Reynolds
Razorback Stadium on the Arkansas campus. The game will
be televised by ESPN with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.
Central Time (CT).