College Football Pick
Alabama is not messing around. OUtside of the comeback win at Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide have allowed just 16 points in their other three Games. This doesn’t bode well for a Kentucky offense that scored just seven points in its first road test of the season at Florida. And so, the Tide opened as a -35 point home favorite.
The last time these teams played was back in 2013 with the result a 48-7 ‘Bama win, which may not be far off from this year’s Game. There hasn’t been much surprise to the Tide’s season so far, dominating on both sides of the field. Given some adversity at Ole Miss, they still came out on top and controlled the second half.
The defense remains one of the best in the country and Kentucky knows that. The Wildcats have 97 points in two non-Conference Games, but just 24 in their two SEC Games. There’s nothing about their early play that leads anyone to believe they can crack double digits in Tuscaloosa. They used a ground Game to beat South Carolina last weekend, but finding room on the ground against Bama just isn’t a possibility for most teams.
Running back Stanley Williams is averaging 8.0 yards per carry for UK, while his backup Benjamin Snell Jr. is at 6.3 ypc. At Florida, they managed 94 rushing yards and 2.8 yards per carry as a team. Passing the ball was even worse with Stephen Johnson and Drew Barker combining to go 3-for-13 for 55 yards. (note – Barker is OUT for the season).
As long as the Alabama defense shows up again, this could be a similar outing for Kentucky. On the other side, it’s the same story. In that loss to the Gators, UK allowed 244 yards on the ground, but also 320 yards through the air. And the case can definitely be made that Alabama is better on both sides of the field than Florida.
The Tide picked up some injuries last weekend to top running back Damien Harris and receiver ArDarius Stewart, but both are day-to-day and could be ready for this Game. Harris seems more likely to go as he’s hyped for a matchup against his home state. Even if those guys don’t play, the backups on Alabama could still win this Game easily.
Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts hasn’t been asked to do much and that’ll probably be the case again. But even if he doesn’t pass a lot, his mobility has been an issue for opposing defenses. Combine that with a top offensive line and running Game and you have a lot of blowouts.
The Tide have covered in all three home Games this season and if they aim for back-to-back shutouts against Kentucky, should be headed for a Fourth. They’ll probably reach 40 or so points again, the question will be if the defense wants another shutout or not. If they do, the cover will be there for the taking. Alabama -35