Bama/Kentucky game notes

Alabama defeated Kentucky 27-17 here tonight front of a paid crowd of 83,018 here at Bryant-Denny Stadium. With the win, Alabama extends its all-time series lead over Kentucky to 32-2-1.

  • The Crimson Tide has never lost to the Wildcats here in the state of Alabama, posting a 19-0-1 record, including a perfect 8-0 mark here in Tuscaloosa.
  • Alabama also improves to 45-20-2 all-time in Southeastern Conference openers, including a school-record 12-game winning streak dating back to 1991. The Crimson Tide has compiled a 22-4 record in its last 26 SEC openers and improves to 17-3 in SEC openers here in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  • Dating back to Nov. 10, 2001, Alabama has won 16 of its last 20 games, the second-best record in the SEC. Also, Alabama is 9-2 in its last 11 SEC games, dating back to the 2001 season.
  • Alabama improves to 2-0 all-time in games played on Sept. 13th. In addition to tonight's win over Kentucky, Alabama defeated Southern Miss 31-17 on this date in 1986 with Mike Shula at quarterback.
  • Alabama is now 17-3 all-time in night games here in Tuscaloosa.
  • Alabama game captains for the Kentucky game were senior split end Dre Fulgham (offense), senior middle linebacker Derrick Pope (defense) and junior defensive back Thurman Ward (special teams).
  • Former Alabama fullback Tommy Lewis ran out the game ball prior to tonight's game with Kentucky. Lewis was born in Greenville, Ala., and played for coach Harold "Red" Drew from 1951-53. He scored two touchdowns in Alabama's 61-6 win over Syracuse in the Jan. 1, 1953 Orange Bowl. Lewis was also a member of Alabama's 1953 SEC Championship team. Lewis now resides in Huntsville.
  • The Alabama offense had two changes in the starting lineup tonight against Kentucky. Senior Atlas Herrion (Daphne) started in place of junior Justin Smiley at left guard. Also, true freshman Le'Ron McClain (Tuscaloosa) started at the F position in place of Tim Castille.
  • Smiley (Ellabell, Ga.) missed the first start of his Alabama career on the offensive line, snapping a streak of 27 consecutive starts dating back to the first game of his Alabama career against UCLA on Sept. 1, 2001.
  • The start against Kentucky was the second career start for Herrion, who last started for Alabama against Iowa State in the Dec. 27, 2001 Independence Bowl.
  • McClain is the second true freshman to start the F position for Alabama this season. Castille started the first two games against South Florida and Oklahoma, but McClain started tonight.
  • Senior running back Shaud Williams (Andrews, Texas) had a career game for the Crimson Tide in the win over Kentucky, rushing the ball 30 times for 174 yards and a career-high three rushing touchdowns. The 174 rushing yards are the most for Williams at Alabama, surpassing his previous high of 160 rushing yards last year at Hawai'i (Nov. 27, 2002).
  • Williams three rushing TDs are the most in his career, surpassing his previous best of two rushing TDs against South Florida (Aug. 30, 2003) and Colorado (1999 while at Texas Tech).
  • The senior also added a career-high 30 rushing attempts in the win over UK, surpassing his previous best of 28 rushing attempts in the 2003 season opener against USF.
  • For his career, Williams has 372 rushing attempts for 2,168 yards and 16 rushing TDs in four years at Texas Tech and Alabama. The Andrews, Texas native ran the ball five times for 30 yards on Alabama's opening drive of the ball game, pushing him over the 2,000-yard mark for his career.
  • Williams had 192 all-purpose yards against Kentucky, including 174 rushing yards, 15 punt return yards and three receiving yards on 35 plays. In all, Williams played 62 snaps in the win over the Wildcats.
  • Quarterback Brodie Croyle (Rainbow City) completed 14 of 27 passes for 198 yards and one interception in the win over Kentucky.
  • The Alabama sophomore quarterback reached three personal career milestones in the win over Kentucky, including his 100th career completion, 200th career pass attempt and 1,500 career passing yards.
  • Croyle completed three of six passes for 59 yards in the first quarter of tonight's game with Kentucky, picking up two of those career milestones in the first 15 minutes of play. The sophomore completed a 29-yard pass to senior split end Triandos Luke on the Tide's opening drive for his 100th career completion. Later in the opening quarter, Croyle's 16-yard pass to senior flanker Dre Fulgham pushed him over 1,500 passing yards in his two year career. He added a third milestone in the second quarter, when he completed a one-yard screen pass to Williams was his 200th career pass attempt.
  • The Crimson Tide ran 20 plays for 127 total yards in the first quarter against Kentucky, nearly tripling its offensive output in the first quarter against South Florida (9 yards) and Oklahoma (46 yards) combined. The Crimson Tide netted only 55 total yards in his first two games of the season in the first quarter. The Crimson Tide also had 68 rushing yards in the first quarter against Kentucky, after netting only 20 rushing yards against USF (7 yards rushing) and Oklahoma (13 yards rushing).
  • Five Alabama players saw action for the first time this season against Kentucky, including senior kicker Kyle Robinson (Cleburne, Texas), senior Matt Miller (Rainbow City) on special teams, sophomore tight end/fullback Greg McLain (Lineville), sophomore defensive tackle Taylor Britt (Cullman) and Brandon Brooks (Birmingham) on special teams.
  • Senior fullback Josh Smith (Mountain Brook) saw action at fullback for the first time this season tonight against UK. Smith had played on special teams this season prior to tonight's game.
  • McClain recorded his first career pass reception and rushing attempt in the game. He finished with two catches for 35 yards and ran the ball once for one yard.
  • Alabama did not force a turnover in the win over UK, extending the streak to 10 consecutive quarters without forcing a turnover, dating back to the second quarter of season opener with South Florida. The Crimson Tide forced three turnovers in the win over the Bulls in the 2003 season opener, including two fumble recoveries in the second quarter. UA has not forced a turnover since.
  • The Alabama offense had its best of the season in terms of total yards, piling up 464 yards in the win over UK. The Crimson Tide ran 53 times for a season-high 266 yards and three TDs. The Crimson Tide passed for 198 yards against Kentucky, just missing its season high of 203 yards against South Florida.
  • The Crimson Tide held the Wildcats to 26 rushing yards on 23 rushing attempts. The Cats averaged just 1.1 yards per rushing attempt against Bama in the loss.
  • The Alabama defense held Kentucky to 195 total yards in the game, including 169 passing yards (14-for-24) by Jared Lorenzen.

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