Kentucky at Alabama

Hurts, No. 1 Alabama rout Kentucky 34-6 after rough week

By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer
  •  

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Jalen Hurts went to his star receiver after a first half of misfires and missed opportunities with a simple message: Let's settle down.

It worked wonders.

Hurts threw two third-quarter touchdown passes to Ridley, and Ronnie Harrison scored on a 55-yard fumble return, in No. 1 Alabama's 34-6 victory over Kentucky on Saturday night.

The Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) overcame a week full of potential distractions and a slow start to run away from the Wildcats (2-3, 1-2).

''He actually came to me and said we need to calm down,'' Ridley said. ''He's one of those guys. I think he's like the Jameis Winston guy. Just like he's very cool when something's going wrong, he's like, `Calm down, calm down and let's just keep going.' And I answered him, `You're right, let's play.'''

The Hurt and Ridley Show took over the second half, hooking up on scoring passes of 10 and 19 yards and plenty in between. Hurts passed for 262 yards, including 173 in the third quarter.

Ridley gained 174 yards on 11 catches, both career-highs.

Freshman tailback Joshua Jacobs rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown in his first start with Kentucky native Damien Harris playing a limited role after spraining his right ankle last week against Kent State.

The performance came two days after star linebacker Tim Williams' arrest on a misdemeanor charge of carrying a pistol without a permit. Williams was suspended for the first half and still had three tackles for loss and a sack.

Backup quarterback Blake Barnett left the team and withdrew from school this week, too.

None of that mattered much in the final three quarters, though Kentucky did hold a 3-0 lead for half the first quarter.

''Challenged them a little bit at halftime,'' Tide coach Nick Saban said. ''I didn't think we sort of imposed our will in the first half how we could have or should have or wanted to, however you want to say it.''

Kentucky couldn't overcome two first-half fumbles, the first coming in Tide territory.

''We had a chance to do some things and go up by at least six and we gave up the turnover there early,'' Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. ''That we can't do.''

Hurts couldn't produce any big plays in the passing game until the opening drive of the third quarter. He rolled toward the right sideline and found Ridley wide open for a 46-yard gain. Two plays later, he did the same thing and again Ridley was open - this time in the end zone.

THE TAKEAWAY

Kentucky: The Wildcats scored first but couldn't get anything going offensively, getting outgained 488-161. Stanley ''Boom'' Williams came in averaging 116 yards a game and finished with 22 yards on nine carries.

Alabama: The defense sparked the Tide when Hurts and the passing game weren't clicking. Alabama had four sacks. Harris logged only two carries and big-play receiver ArDarius Stewart sat out the second straight game with a knee injury.

NON-OFFENSIVE TDS: Rashaan Evans stripped the ball from quarterback Stephen Johnson and Harrison scooped it up and sprinted to the end zone in the second quarter. Alabama leads the nation with five defensive touchdowns and seven non-offensive TDs.

JOHNSON'S NIGHT: Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson was 13 of 22 for 89 yards, lost two fumbles and was sacked four times. Saban said Alabama noticed ''he was a little loose with the ball.''

''I was just trying to make something happen and I didn't hold the ball like I should,'' Johnson said.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Alabama could lose some ground at the No. 1 spot with No. 5 Clemson and No. 3 Louisville clashing in a much more meaningful game.

UP NEXT

Kentucky hosts Vanderbilt in a matchup of SEC East teams in need of a win.

Alabama visits No. 20 Arkansas to begin a three-week stretch against ranked teams.

----

AP's college football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Kentucky  (2-3)30036
Alabama #1  (5-0) «31414334
Players of the Game
Crimson Tide

J. Hurts
Att 33
Comp 20
Yds 262
TD 2
Crimson Tide

C. Ridley
Rec 11
Yds 174
Avg 15.8
TD 2
Scoring Summary
UKAustin MacGinnis 45 yd FG
BAMAAdam Griffith 44 yd FG
BAMAJoshua Jacobs 1 yd run (Adam Griffith kick)
BAMARonnie Harrison 55 yd fumble return (Adam Griffith kick)
BAMACalvin Ridley 10 yd pass from Jalen Hurts (Adam Griffith kick)
BAMACalvin Ridley 19 yd pass from Jalen Hurts (Adam Griffith kick)
BAMAAdam Griffith 24 yd FG
UKAustin MacGinnis 30 yd FG
 
Team Stats
 UKBAMA
First Downs1225
Third Down Efficiency6-179-14
Fourth Down Efficiency1-10-1
Plays-Net Yards58-16175-488
Rushes-Yds36-7237-173
Passing Yds89315
Kick Return Yds7933
Punt Return Yds032
Passes13-22-025-38-0
Punts6-2681-58
Fumbles-Lost3-21-1
Penalties-Yds2-154-20
Time of Poss.30:1329:47
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
UK: Jojo Kemp 10-39, Benjamin Snell, Jr. 8-38, Stanley Boom Williams 9-22, Sihiem King 2--1, Stephen Johnson 7--26
BAMA: Joshua Jacobs 16-100, Jalen Hurts 9-25, Bo Scarbrough 5-21, B.J. Emmons 3-16, Damien Harris 2-11, Calvin Ridley 1-6, Team 1--6
PASSING
UK: Stephen Johnson 13-22-89-0
BAMA: Jalen Hurts 20-33-262-0, Cooper Bateman 5-5-53-0
RECEIVING
UK: Garrett Johnson 4-27, Tavin Richardson 2-24, Sihiem King 2-14, C.J. Conrad 2-10, Greg Hart 1-6, Blake Bone 1-5, Stanley Boom Williams 1-3
BAMA: Calvin Ridley 11-174, Joshua Jacobs 3-44, Robert Foster 2-42, Trevon Diggs 2-14, O.J. Howard 2-13, Gehrig Dieter 1-11, Bo Scarbrough 1-9, Damien Harris 1-6, B.J. Emmons 1-3, Cam Sims 1--1
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Kentucky2nd SEC East4-47-6
Alabama1st SEC West8-014-1

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