This Saturday was the first time that the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide took the field since October 31st when they hosted the Mississippi State Bulldogs in 41-0 shutout. Alabama hosted the Kentucky Wildcats in one of the most lopsided games of the 2020 College Football season. Alabama defeated the Wildcats with a 63-3 score in Tuscaloosa, having its best results in the second or third quarter. Despite the slow first quarter start, the Crimson Tide looked like one of the most dominant teams in College Football. This was a statement win to the rest of the SEC before a big test next weekend.
#1 Alabama Dominates Kentucky 63-3 in Statement Game
Alabama knocked off some rust
The Tide couldn’t play the LSU Tigers due to the impact of COVID-19 in Bato Rouge. Alabama head coach Nick Saban knew there would be some rust because his team has not played since Halloween night. The Tide’s defense started with a three-and-out against Kentucky’s offense. Then the offense got on the scoreboard in six plays. The Wildcats’ offense had two drives that were extended thanks to the playmaking ability of dual-threat quarterback Terry Wilson. Kentucky outgained the Tide in total yards accounted for 121-to-79 and first downs eight-to-three. In the second quarter, Alabama’s offense came alive as it accounted for 185 total yards and 10 first downs. The unit averaged 12.3 yards per play. Quarterback Mac Jones threw two touchdown passes to DeVonta Smith and John Metchie. In addition, running back Najee Harris rushed for his second of the game.
The defense for Alabama, who had problems stopping the offense of Kentucky and Wilson in the first quarter, had a much more efficient performance in the last three quarters. Alabama held Kentucky’s offense to 58 total yards and four first downs accounted for after the first quarter. The defense for the Tide accounted for two sacks, four tackles for loss, three pass breakups, and six quarterback hurries. They held the Wildcats to 179 total yards accounted for a third-down conversion rate of 2-of-23. Offensively, the Crimson Tide accounted for 509 total yards with 226 of them coming from the rushing game. They also accounted for 29 first downs and averaged just under eight yards per play while only being penalized four times.
Star players and backups got some big plays in
This was a game where multiple members of Alabama had an impactful performance on both sides of the ball. Jones was tremendous despite his one interception in the third quarter, which was his third interception of the season. Jones threw for 230 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and a quarterback rating of 166.3 on 16 completions (out of 24 pass attempts). He was smart in his decision making as he rarely threw to Wildcats star cornerback Kelvin Joseph. Senior wide receiver Smith caught nine receptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns. After his first touchdown, Smith set the all-time career receiving touchdown record in the SEC. Smith now has 33 career reception touchdowns. Sophomore middle linebacker Christian Harris led the team in total tackles with 11 while accounting for eight tackles, one tackle for loss, and one sack.
Safety Jordan Battle accounted for five total tackles, three solo tackles, and one interception returned for a 45-yard touchdown in the third quarter. With the Tide being so dominant against the Wildcats, they were able to play some future stars off the bench. Backup quarterback Bryce Young was able to score his first touchdown for the Tide late in the third quarter to Smith. Freshman running back Jase McClellan played in his first-ever collegiate game and rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Sophomore tight end Jahleel Billingsley had his best performance for Alabama as he caught three receptions for 78 yards. He will be a player that can make an impact for the Tide’s elite offense sooner rather than later. Outside linebacker Christopher Allen is the other Tide defender to account for a sack against the offense of Kentucky.
Alabama looks like the most efficient top team
Alabama is likely on every major College Football expert’s top ranking after this week’s win against Kentucky. The Tide has looked like the most consistent team in the sport of College Football as opposed to Notre Dame and Ohio State. Alabama will still need to play their best football in the remaining three regular-season weeks of SEC play. In the three remaining three games of the season, Alabama will play opponents that have combined for an 11-10 record. The toughest test of the season is next week when hosting the #23 Auburn Tigers. The Tide and Jones will look for revenge against the Tigers as they lost 48-45 in a game that knocked them out of the College Football Playoff race.