McClain Named SEC Top Defender

Prior to Alabama's game at Kentucky Saturday, much of the conversation involved Bama having lost the services of inside linebacker Dont'a Hightower, victim of a season-ending knee injury against Arkansas. Other linebackers knew they had to step up.



Alabama junior linebacker Rolando McClain, an All-America candidate, doesn't need extra motivation to play inspired football. But his game against Kentucky was excellent even by his high standards. As a result, McClain was named Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in Bama's 38-20 win over the Wildcats in Lexington.

McClain, a 6-4, 258-pound middle linebacker from Decatur, had a game-high 12 tackles (eight primary) and also had an interception, a forced fumble that resulted in a Crimson Tide touchdown, a quarterback hurry, and a pass deflection that was intercepted by Bama.

His forced fumble led to a 45-yard fumble return by Courtney Upshaw for a touchdown and gave the Tide a 21-6 halftime lead.

His 21-yard interception return to the UK 38 on the first possession of the third quarter set up a touchdown two plays later and gave Alabama a 28-6 lead.

His pass deflection to teammate Eryk Anders for an interception at the UK 47 led to a third quarter field and a 31-6 Crimson Tide lead.

Bama running back Mark Ingram was cited by the conference for an outstanding game. Ingram rushed 22 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

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