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_0344web.jpg ‘Lucky 7’ comes through in the 3rd

    Over the course of his four-year baseball career at Verdigris High School, third baseman Ryan Skalnik has had his share of memorable at-bats.
    None more important than Tuesday’s appearance in the Large School East-West All-State Game at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa.
    Skalnik, who was the lone senior this season for Verdigris and a four-time Class 3A state champion, thrived under pressure in the top of the third inning for the East.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Larue, Skalnik power East to 3-0 victory

    The East blanked the West 3-0 in the Large School All-State Baseball Game Tuesday night at J. L. Johnson Stadium on the campus of Oral Roberts University.
    Claremore catcher Matt Whatley and third baseman Ryan Skalnik of Verdigris represented Rogers County in the contest.
    Skalnik finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI's.  Whatley was 0-for-1 with a walk.

    July 30, 2014

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • RSU places 77 student-athletes on Heartland Conference Academic All-Conference Honor Roll

    The Heartland Conference announced that more than 1000 student-athletes from its 12 member institutions landed a spot on the Academic All-Conference honor roll, including 77 from Rogers State.
     
    The Hillcats had 33 student-athletes named to the President's Honor Roll while 44 earned Commissioner's Honor Roll recognition.

    July 31, 2014

  • Indoor football coming back to Enid?

     Is Enid ready to give professional arena football another try? Oklahoma City businessman Antwone Taulton and Enid Enforcers owner Mark Timberlake think so, and are in the early stages of a plan they hope will see the return of arena football in 2015 to Enid after an absence of more than 10 years. And if things progress as one league executive expects, an official announcement could be forthcoming in the near future.

    July 31, 2014

  • OU holds Mixon out of practice, investigation continues

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today, but freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there, the school announced Wednesday night.

    The university, in its statement, said “Joe Mixon is not reporting for team activities at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Ticket options available for Arkansas women's basketball

    The excitement surrounding head coach Jimmy Dykes and the 2014-15 University of Arkansas women’s basketball season is building every day in Northwest Arkansas.

    As the excitement builds, the Razorback Ticket Center has announced the availability of women’s basketball season ticket plans including several new options for this season.  Tickets go on sale beginning today and can be purchased online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or by calling the Razorback Ticket Center at 800-982-4647.  Current season ticket holders will receive renewal forms in the mail the first week of August.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ex-OSU baseball players Oliver, Hague on new paths in All-Star season

    Matt Hague has transitioned to being a power hitter and Andy Oliver has evolved into a shutdown closer.

    The former Oklahoma State players were both named International League All-Stars after reinventing themselves this season with the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ex-Sooner Courtney Paris finding niche with Shock

    It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the nation.

    July 31, 2014

  • MLB: Keuchel tosses 4-hitter, Astros roll past A's

    In at least one category, Dallas Keuchel is Clayton Kershaw's equal. For at least one three-game series, Houston was better than Oakland.

    Keuchel pitched a four-hitter and Robbie Grossman homered to cap a six-run first inning that sent the Astros past the Athletics 8-1 Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014