TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- While this year’s Alabama football team hasn’t been the utterly dominant force of years past, it’s on its way.
The 48-7 crushing of Kentucky on Saturday was a perfect example of a team that lives by the Process: struggling at first, then sorting out the problem and making winning look effortless.
“I was really proud of the way we dominated the line of scrimmage offensively,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “AJ (McCarron) had a really good game, made a lot of plays, made a lot of explosive plays passing. Everybody’s got to be accountable to do their role so that we can be the best team than we can be.”
Though Alabama finished strong, the first quarter was not well-executed on offense. There were fumbles by running backs T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake in the red zone, dropped passes throughout the game, and miscues on offense.
But the true sign of improvement and perseverance is the willingness to come right back and try it again. The Alabama skill-position players either changed gloves after the first quarter or received a lengthy pep talk, because the offense went on to amass 668 total yards. Yeldon and Drake both had over 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns each, showing that the 2013 Alabama team has the lethal two-person running attack that has worked for so many of Saban’s teams in the past.
“I thought they did pretty well. They didn't fumble anymore,” Saban said. “We had two backs over 100 yards. I think that says a lot about the offensive line and the job they did, but I thought both guys ran well.”
Not to be outdone, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron had a career-high 359 yards passing. This game against Kentucky was the first time in Alabama football history that a Crimson Tide team had two 100-yard rushers and a 300-yard passer in a game.
“It’s always big to have balance on offense. That’s our No. 1 thing,” McCarron said. “We made plays in the running game and passing. At the same time we didn’t make some plays when we had chances. We just have to capitalize.”
The Alabama defense also held Kentucky to 170 total yards and gave up its first touchdown in 14 quarters of play.
This was a resounding win that even Nick Saban - who would be displeased with a perfect score on the SAT by one of his children - could appreciate.
“We just kind of do things the ‘Bama way, man,” Saban said. “Play physical, play with effort, play with more toughness, compete well in the game for 60 minutes and improve and dominate the competition, and I think we did that.”
At the halfway point in the season, Alabama is 6-0, still the No. 1 team in the country and is now bowl eligible. And with consecutive games against Arkansas and Tennessee at home, that ranking looks to stay intact for the foreseeable future.