Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

October 13, 2013

SEC: No. 1 Alabama routs Kentucky, 48-7

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Once No. 1 Alabama got out of its own way, knocking Kentucky from its path became pretty easy on Saturday night.

Just ask T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake, who each ran for two touchdowns as the Crimson Tide brushed off a few early mistakes to blow out the Wildcats 48-7.

After a scoreless first quarter thanks to fumbles by the running backs and dropped passes in Kentucky territory, the Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) scored on their last eight possessions and outgained the Wildcats (1-5, 0-3) 668-170.

"We need to improve and try to dominate the competition, and I think we did that tonight," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "But I also think we made a lot of mistakes. We turned the ball over a couple of 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."

AJ McCarron shook off the handful of drops to throw for a career-high 359 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown to Kevin Norwood.

Yeldon scored from 24 and 3 yards and finished with 124 on 16 carries; Drake added 106 yards and a pair of 1-yard TDs on 14 attempts. Altee Tenpenny added a late 7-yard TD run and Cade Foster kicked field goals of 25 and 20 yards.

Alabama's defense rang up four sacks, though it did allow its first TD in four games since escaping that 49-42 shootout victory at Texas A&M last month. The Crimson Tide has outscored opponents 149-16 over that span, and beat the Wildcats for the fifth straight time.

Kentucky's fourth straight loss closed out its most grueling stretch in school history, a schedule of ranked teams including No. 7 Louisville, No. 19 Florida and No. 13 South Carolina before facing the nation's top-ranked team and two-time defending national champions.

Some things went according to form as the Wildcats found little ground against the SEC's second-ranked defense and managed only Maxwell Smith's 30-yard touchdown pass to Javess Blue midway through the third quarter that got them within 31-7. Smith relieved Jalen Whitlow after he left the game in the first quarter with what coach Mark Stoops said was a sprained left ankle and did not return.

Without their dual-threat quarterback, the Wildcats had no chance.

"We know how good Alabama is, but we can play better," Stoops said."We didn't play our best tonight, and that's why I'm disappointed. When you're playing the No. 1 team in the country, at least give them your best shot."

Other things went off script as the initial 15 minutes saw the Crimson Tide commit an uncharacteristic combination of fumbles and dropped passes in Wildcats territory that contributed to their first scoreless opening quarter of the season.

Kenny Bell's bobble while wide open down the middle killed Alabama's first drive before Drake and Yeldon each fumbled on the next two possessions, the latter especially costly as the sophomore coughed up the ball inside the 5. It was recovered by Kentucky's Avery Williamson at the 2.

"We just said we had to forget about it and keep the ball high and tight," Yeldon said of the fumbles. "Our teammates helped us out and told us don't worry about it and keep running the ball."

Kentucky couldn't take advantage of any of those breaks, but the Wildcats had a more pressing issue in replacing Whitlow after he was hurt while being sacked for a 9-yard loss on their second possession.

The sophomore from Prattville, Ala., lay on the ground for several moments before he was helped off the field and carted to the dressing room. Smith came in to no avail as Kentucky gained just 62 yards in the first half.

Considering how seamlessly Alabama was controlling the ball and the clock before the mistakes, it was just a matter of time before the Crimson Tide would eventually take advantage of the Wildcats' struggles. In fact, they used most of the second quarter to break the game open.

Alabama got on the scoreboard on its fourth drive with Foster's 25-yard field goal en route to 24 unanswered second-quarter points as Drake sandwiched 1-yard touchdown runs around Yeldon's 24-yard TD run. Alabama's quick spurt included another wide-open drop by Drake late in the quarter, but McCarron's 42-yard pass to Norwood in double coverage to Kentucky's 1 earlier was the play that seemed to shake the Tide out of their doldrums and contribute to 372 first-half yards.

Yeldon's 3-yard TD run early in the third made it 31-0 and Alabama was in cruise control after its sputtering start.

"We got some work to do, but at the same time our offense and defense did great," McCarron said.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0237web.jpg Hrdlicka, Teter pour ‘heart’ into Zebra soccer program

    For the past four years, Claremore High School seniors Katelin Teter and Nick Hrdlicka have represented the ‘heart and soul’ of the Lady Zebra and Zebra soccer programs.
    The soccer duo will join seven other seniors on Friday night for Homecoming against Collinsville at Lantow Field.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0014web.jpg 9 straight for Lady Zebras

    Claremore sophomore forward Bailey Steckline got the ‘hat-trick’ plus one Tuesday night in the Lady Zebras’ 10-0 win over Tulsa Memorial at  LaFortune Stadium.
    Steckline tallied two goals in the first half, and added two more in the second to complete her impressive night.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0156web.jpg Tulsa Memorial holds off Zebras, 2-1

    Tulsa Memorial scored a pair of first-half goals  to steal the momentum away from the Claremore Zebras, as well as the 2-1 win Tuesday night in Metro Lakes Conference action at LaFortune Stadium.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0015web.jpg BASEBALL: Whatley, Howe power Zebras past Tahlequah

    Claremore’s Matt Whatley has proven over the past four years that he’s one of the toughest outs in the Metro Lakes Conference.
    On Tuesday, Whatley went 3-for-4 with two singles and a triple while sparking the Zebras to a 12-2 win over Tahlequah in five innings at American Legion Park.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Dewey takes pair from Sequoyah

    It’s very difficult to win when you can’t score.
    Class 4A third-ranked Dewey blanked homestanding Sequoyah 7-0 and 2-0 in a district doubleheader on Tuesday, improving to 21-3 with a dominating two-hit pitching performance in the opener and a four-hitter in the nightcap.

    April 18, 2014

  • SOCCER: Sequoyah topples No. 15 Catoosa, 1-0

    Sequoyah boys soccer coach Bob Campbell had one phrase to sum up his feelings following the Eagles’ game with 15th ranked Catoosa at home Tuesday night.
    “We’re in the driver’s seat.’’
    Alex Bourgeois scored late in the first half and Sequoyah made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over the Indians in a showdown for the district lead.

    April 18, 2014

  • Jackson sprints Zebras to 1st place at OBU Relays

    Claremore senior sprinter Tyler Jackson felt the need for speed Wednesday afternoon at the Oklahoma Baptist University High School Invitational.
    Jackson notched a pair of first-place victories in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash to help Claremore earn 130 points for top honors.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Arkansas Tech roughs up ‘Cats

    The Rogers State University baseball team had a disappointing finish in its home finale as No. 12-ranked Arkansas Tech blanked the Hillcats 11-0 Tuesday evening in non-conference action from the Diamond Sports Complex.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Southwest Baptist slips past NSU, 5-3

     The Northeastern State baseball team lost 5-3 to Southwest Baptist Thursday afternoon at Dobson Field.
     
    The RiverHawks (19-22, 15-18 MIAA) held a 3-0 lead early in the contest, but a late rally from the Bearcats (23-18, 19-13 MIAA) and costly errors from the visitors allowed the home team to secure the series-opening triumph.

    April 18, 2014

  • WOMEN'S TENNIS: Conference champion NSU lands top seed in MIAA tourney

    The No. 31-ranked Northeastern State women's tennis team has drawn the top seed in the 2014 MIAA Women's Tennis Championship, the league announced Thursday morning.

    April 18, 2014