12:30 PM ET, October 9, 2004
Commonwealth Stadium, LEXINGTON, KY
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Alabama scored touchdowns on four straight second-half possessions to stem a potential Kentucky rally and beat the Wildcats 45-17 on Saturday, snapping a two-game losing streak.
The Crimson Tide (4-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) ran the ball on 63 of its 74 offensive plays, finishing with 304 yards rushing. Ray Hudson had 99 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries before leaving the game in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury. Kenneth Darby, who alternated with Hudson, ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Fullback Tim Castille scored twice and had 33 yards on eight carries for Alabama.
Junior quarterback Spencer Pennington made his second career start for Alabama, replacing Marc Guillon, who had been ineffective in losses to Arkansas and South Carolina. Pennington, whose previous start came last season against Georgia, completed his first six passes and finished 7-of-11 for 83 yards.
Alabama is 33-2-1 against Kentucky, which managed just 177 yards of offense.
Kentucky (1-4, 0-2) pulled to 17-14 early in the third quarter on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Shane Boyd to tight end Jeremiah Drobney. But mistakes by the Wildcats on two punts later in the quarter shifted momentum to Alabama.
Kentucky accepted a penalty on a Crimson Tide punt, forcing Alabama to kick again from its own 22. On the second kick, Kentucky's Andrew Hopewell appeared in position to either block the punt or tackle punter Bo Freeland, but Freeland eluded Hopewell and ran 24 yards for a first down.
On Kentucky's next series, Alabama's Wallace Gilberry sacked quarterback Shane Boyd, forcing a fumble, and Cornelius Wortham recovered for Alabama at the Kentucky 5. Darby scored two plays later.
Kentucky went three-and-out, and Anthony Madison blocked a punt by Kentucky's Sevin Sucurovic. Josh Smith recovered for Alabama at the Kentucky 12, and Darby scored two plays later on a 9-yard run, making it 31-14.
The Wildcats pulled to 31-17 after Taylor Begley's 52-yard field goal with 11:48 left, but Tyrone Prothro returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for the clinching touchdown for Alabama. It was the seventh 100-yard kickoff return in Alabama history, but the first since 1988.
Castille scored his second touchdown on a 2-yard run, set up by another fumble recovery.
Alabama led 14-0 midway through the second quarter after Hudson scored on a 20-yard run, capping a 14-play, 99-yard drive, the Crimson Tide's longest of the season. Hudson stepped out of a tackle by Kentucky's Earven Flowers at the 10 and maintained his balance en route to the end zone.
At that point, Alabama had outgained Kentucky 215 yards to 4 and held a 14-0 advantage in first downs.
Kentucky answered with an 11-play, 78-yard touchdown drive, with Boyd scoring on a 1-yard run. Alabama picked up a 36-yard field goal from Brian Bostick with :09 left in the half, giving the Crimson Tide a 17-7 lead.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-16||1-8|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||1-1|
|TD||1:37||TIM CASTILLE 1 YD RUN (BRIAN BOSTICK KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||7:17||RAY HUDSON 20 YD RUN (BRIAN BOSTICK KICK)|
Drive info: 14 plays, 99 yards.
|TD||2:22||SHANE BOYD 1 YD RUN (TAYLOR BEGLEY KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 78 yards.
|FG||0:09||BRIAN BOSTICK 36 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 61 yards.
|TD||12:17||JEREMIAH DROBNEY 38 YD PASS FROM SHANE BOYD (TAYLOR BEGLEY KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 51 yards.
|TD||4:24||KENNETH DARBY 2 YD RUN (BRIAN BOSTICK KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 5 yards.
|TD||2:33||KENNETH DARBY 9 YD RUN (BRIAN BOSTICK KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 12 yards.
|FG||11:48||TAYLOR BEGLEY 52 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 40 yards.
|TD||11:34||TYRONE PROTHRO 100 YD KICK RETURN (BRIAN BOSTICK KICK)||38||17|
|TD||10:31||TIM CASTILLE 2 YD RUN (BRIAN BOSTICK KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 15 yards.