When the dust settled on the Crimson Tide's 48-7 win over the Wildcats, it was all that more evident.
Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC) pounded Kentucky for 668 yards of total offense while holding the Wildcats to only 170. The lone bright spot for UK on an otherwise forgettable night was scoring the first touchdown against the Tide's defense in almost a month. The last one came courtesy of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M on Sept. 14.
The only person among the crowd of 69,873 who may not have been thoroughly impressed was the Tide's perfectionist head coach, Nick Saban.
"We need to improve and try to dominate the competition," Saban said. "I think we did that tonight, but I also thought we made a lot of mistakes. We turned the ball over a couple of times (two first-quarter fumbles in UK's red zone), dropped some passes. If you want to be the best, you can't be satisfied with that, so there are some things we definitely need to improve on."
Kentucky (1-5, 0-3 SEC) left the game battered and bruised, having lost starting quarterback Jalen Whitlow to a serious ankle sprain and a number of other starters to various injuries.
"I've been in some big games for a while," Stoops said, "but that (Alabama) bunch beat us up pretty good."
The defending national champions rushed for 299 yards and passed for 369 against a UK defense that kept them scoreless for one quarter, but wore down from the second quarter on due to its offense's inability to sustain drives.
Kentucky rushed for 94 yards, but it came on 34 attempts for an average of 2.8 yards per carry. The Cats managed only seven pass completions on 18 attempts for 76 yards. Thirty of those came on one play, a touchdown connection between backup quarterback Max Smith and Javess Blue in the third quarter.
AJ McCarron completed 21 of 35 passes for 359 yards and a touchdown for Alabama. The Tide also got 124 yards rushing from T.J. Yeldon and 106 from Kenyan Drake, each scoring two touchdowns. It marked the first time in Alabama's rich history that it had a 300-yard passer and a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game.
"That is an awfully good football team - everywhere - and they're so well-coached," Stoops said of Alabama. "I'm disappointed, but we give them credit.
"It was a really tough matchup for us, physically... That's a dominant team, and they manhandled us."
* Alabama leads the all-time series with Kentucky 36-2-1. The last UK victory came in 1997.
* UK is now 3-11 all-time against No. 1 ranked teams.
* The Cats completed the first four-game run against Top 20 opponents in school history, falling to No. 7 Louisville, No. 19 Florida, No. 13 South Carolina and No. 1 Alabama.
* The TD pass from Smith to Blue in the third quarter gave UK its first points in the period this season.
* UK linebacker Avery Williamson had a game-high 13 tackles, the 11th time in his career he has posted double-digit stops.
FG 13:08 Cade Foster 25 yard field goal attempt is Good.
Plays: 9 | Yards: 46 | Time 4:19
TD 9:50 Kenyan Drake rushes right for 1 yards. Touchdown
Plays: 3 | Yards: 73 | Time 0:50
TD 3:39 T.J. Yeldon rushes right for 24 yards. Touchdown
Plays: 11 | Yards: 88 | Time 5:20
TD 0:23 Kenyan Drake rushes middle for 1 yards. Touchdown
Plays: 5 | Yards: 47 | Time 1:59
TD 11:38 T.J. Yeldon rushes right for 3 yards. Touchdown
Plays: 4 | Yards: 79 | Time 1:34
TD 7:05 Maxwell Smith pass to the middle to Javess Blue for 30 yards
Plays: 8 | Yards: 67 | Time 4:33
FG 1:10 Cade Foster 20 yard field goal attempt is Good.
Plays: 8 | Yards: 80 | Time 5:55
TD 10:04 AJ McCarron pass to the left to Kevin Norwood for 20 yards
Plays: 5 | Yards: 80 | Time 1:56
TD 1:41 Altee Tenpenny rushes left for 7 yards. Touchdown Plays: 13 | Yards: 57 | Time 7:23