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
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
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.