@BR Boxtext bold lede colon:THE STAR
On a day when few players distanced themselves from the pack, Mark Ingram’s 140 rushing yards meant balancing out Alabama’s offensive approach. Incomplete passes in the first quarter kept the offense off the field. Once Ingram was able to establish himself, the Tide found balance as passing lanes opened.
Colin Peek’s 21-yard reception that came late in the second quarter got Alabama out from the shadow of Kentucky’s goal post. It sparked the 13-play, 97-yard drive that put the Tide ahead 14-6 when Peek later caught a 3-yard touchdown pass.
The pooch kick late in the first half set up the game-changing fumble and touchdown return by Courtney Upshaw. Kentucky had just enough room to take a shot instead of draining the clock. That confidence led to the pass play and Rolando McClain’s punched football that landed in Upshaw’s hands took some of the spirit out of Commonwealth Stadium.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“We’re a physical team. A lot of teams come out and play on emotion, I believe. And when we hit them in the mouth, it takes that away and they just wear down. And that’s when we start taking advantage of them in the second half.” — Alabama RB Mark Ingram
BY THE NUMBERS
1: More interceptions thrown by Kentucky’s Mike Hartline (3) Saturday than the other four Alabama opponents (2).
17: More plays ran by Kentucky (26) than Alabama (9) in the first quarter.
38: more yards ran by Javier Arenas on the game’s opening kickoff (60) than Alabama’s offense generated in the first quarter (22).
3.5: Average yards per Kentucky run — a relatively huge improvement over 1.7-yard average accumulated by the Tide’s previous four opponents.
5: Incompleted passes in six first-quarter attempts by Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy who finished 15-for-26.
66.7: Alabama’s success percentage on fourth down conversions (2-for-3) after attempting just three this season.