By the time Penn State took Michigan to 4 over times and won at home, Johnny Manziel needed to be helped off the field due to a knee injury (don’t worry he made it back to play), and Texas beat Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry- Alabama had already dodged the day dubbed, “upset Saturday”.
In the first quarter, the Tide tripped itself up with dropped passes and fumbles from both Kenyon Drake and TJ Yeldon. Yet, despite their shaky hands, both pairs of running back’s feet were quick to find yards.
After making a 24-yard run to the end-zone for the second TD of the game, ESPN.com writer Alex Scarbourough was busy tweeting, “There’s vintage TJ Yeldon, finding a hole and knifing methodically through the Kentucky defense.”
It’s very Alabama to have a sophomore running back that evokes delightful memories of his “vintage” years, but the return of Yeldon’s characteristic ability was just one of the many positives that came out of Saturday’s game.
“Besides the turnovers and dropped balls, I felt like we did a good job blocking and getting a lot more explosive plays,” Yeldon said after the game.
When the ball stayed in Alabama hands, the Tide was a force to be reckoned with. Players like Kenyan Drake and Kevin Norwood were true leaders on the field. Their contributions started the momentum shift for the Tide in the second quarter when McCarron threw into double coverage and Norwood made the grab just shy of the one-yard-line. Kenyan Drake brought the drive home for the first touchdown of the night.
The rest of the game, AJ McCarron passed for a career high 359 yards, the Tide defense would hold Kentucky to under 200 yards, Kenyan Drake and TJ Yeldon would both surpass 100 rushing yards and together they would account for 4 Alabama touchdowns.
“That’s what we’re trying to get our guys to do,” Nick Saban said after the game. “Play physical, play with effort and play with more toughness. We need to improve and try to dominate the competition.”
Alabama takes on Arkansas at home Saturday October 19.