A bold calculated risk with the score knotted at 24 and game in balance at the 10:34 mark proved to be a momentum changer. Marlon Humphrey was the Alabama player lined up to the right on the outside designated to recover the onside kick lofted with precision and accuracy by kicker Adam Griffith. The Tide kick coverage team bunched up towards the center with intentions of enticing the Clemson front line to mirror the formation. Humphrey raced to the designated spot and retrieved the diagonal perfectly placed kick in the air before any Tiger could react. Alabama was in business at the 50-yard line and scored two plays later to take a never relinquished 31-24 lead with 9:45 remaining in the game on a 51-yard pass from quarterback Jacob Coker to tight end O.J. Howard.
The Tigers responded with a 31-yard field goal to slice the lead to 31-27 with 7:47 left in the game. Kenyan Drake fielded the ensuing kickoff on the 95-yard line. He ran straight ahead and veered left. Navigating the corner, he eluded a few tacklers down the sideline. Once he skated by the kicker, a trailing defender caught him as he dove for the pylon and scored. He pushed the lead to 38-27 with 7:31 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Running back/kick return specialist Kenyan Drake totaled 218 all-purpose yards (196 kick-returning, 21 receiving, 1rushing). Cornerback Marlon Humphrey finished with five tackles, three solo along with one tackle for loss (-2 yards) and two pass break ups.
BamaMag.com met with the senior 6-1, 210 pound Georgia (Hillgrove HS, Powder Springs) running back/kick return specialist and 6-1, 192 pound redshirted freshman (Hoover HS, AL) cornerback after the Alabama Crimson Tide's (no. 1, 14-1, 7-1) win over the Clemson Tigers (no. 2, 14-1, 8-0).