Short-handed Cats lose big at #1 Alabama, 63-3

An undermanned Kentucky squad lost at No. 1 Alabama 63-3 on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (UK Athletics) – An undermanned Kentucky squad lost at No. 1 Alabama 63-3 on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Kentucky (3-5, 3-5 SEC) was missing approximately 10 starters in the game.

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Terry Wilson completed 10 of 19 passing for 120 yards in the game, while Asim Rose carried 10 times for 68 yards. Alabama native Kavosiey Smoke had 26 yards on nine carries. Josh Ali caught four passes for 52 yards, while Keaton Upshaw had three catches for 44 yards.

Kentucky took the opening kickoff and was able to get one first down before being forced to punt. Alabama took the ensuing possession and went 55 yards in six plays, ending with a one-yard touchdown rush from Najee Harris. Will Reichard added the point after and Alabama led 7-0 with 10:07 left in the first quarter.

On its next drive, Kentucky got the offense going, driving into the Alabama red zone, keyed by a 33-yard reception by Ali from Wilson. But the drive stalled and the Cats were forced to settle for a 33-yard field goal from Matt Ruffolo, which was good. Kentucky cut the lead to 7-3 with 5:19 to go in the first period.

Alabama (7-0, 7-0) got two first downs on its next drive before Jordan Wright broke up a third-down pass and forced the Crimson Tide to punt. The Cats took over at their own 20 with 3:34 to play in the first.

Kentucky promptly drove into Alabama territory again, getting into the red zone as the first quarter ended. A nice mix of running and passing plays allowed the Cats to threaten again. UK would get inside the Alabama 10, but the Cats were unable to get into the end zone. Ruffolo came on for a 24-yard field goal attempt, but a high snap foiled the attempt and Alabama took over at their own 42.

Alabama took advantage, covering 58 yards in just four plays, ending with a Mac Jones 10-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith. Reichard added the PAT and Alabama grabbed a 14-3 lead with 10:12 remaining in the half.

The Cats took the next possession and again drove into Alabama territory. But again the Cats were stopped and were forced to try a 42-yard field goal from Ruffolo. This one missed just to the right and Alabama took over with 5:37 left in the half.

Alabama wasted no time, covering 75 yards in just five plays. Harris finished the drive with a 42-yard touchdown run and Reichard added the PAT to give the Tide a 21-3 lead with 4:02 left in the half.

Kentucky went three-and-out on its next drive and Alabama took over with 2:22 left in the half. The Tide quickly marched down the field and they scored again when Jones hit John Metchie with an 18-yard scoring pass. Reichard added the PAT and the Tide led 28-3. That would be the halftime score.

On the opening drive of the second half, Alabama was driving but Jones tried to hit Smith on a deep ball. Instead, it was intercepted by Kelvin Joseph, his team-best fourth of the year, thwarting the drive and giving UK the ball at their own 22. But after getting one first down, on a Rose 20-yard rush, the Cats were forced to punt.

Alabama would score 35 unanswered points in the second half to provide the final margin of victory.

Kentucky returns to action on Saturday, facing Florida in Gainesville. Kickoff is set for noon ET and the game can be seen on ESPN.

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Austin Miller joins ABC 36 Sports Team as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Anchor. Austin is from the Louisville area and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2008. Austin graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a second concentration in German. While at IU, Austin was a blogger at Kentsterling.com and co-host, producer and engineer for WIUX, the school’s student radio station. Before coming to ABC 36, Austin was a news videographer at WLFI in West Lafayette from 2012-2015. While working with WLFI, Austin had the chance to cover the Purdue Boilermakers. He then accepted a Sports/New Reporter position at Local 4 KSNB-TV in Hastings Nebraska and was eventually promoted to sports full-time as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. While at KSNB-TV, Austin covered the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Hastings College. After spending nearly six years away from home, Austin is excited to return to the Bluegrass State to cover the teams he grew up watching. In his spare time, Austin enjoys playing basketball, working out and cooking. If you have any story ideas or would like to say “Hello,” you can reach Austin by email at amiller@wtvq.com or direct message him on Twitter @AustinMillerTV.