The Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0) aims to stay undefeated on the season as they take on a Kentucky Wildcats (2-4) team that has underperformed in 2020. Here are the three keys to an Alabama victory.
By Steve Wright
1. Work to a double-digit lead
It is a little simplistic to say that a 10 point lead is all that ‘Bama needs to beat Kentucky, but the truth isn’t too far from that mark. The Wildcats do a lot of things well, but their biggest weakness is a lack of offensive explosion in their passing game.
Getting ahead of Kentucky by as little as two scores really puts their offense in a bind. With the way Alabama scores points at a high-efficiency rate, it is hard to see the Wildcats being able to run the Crimson Tide down.
2. Stop Chris Rodriguez Jr.
A rotational player to start the season, Rodriguez has become the focal point of this Kentucky offense thanks to his 562 yards on 88 carries to date. That is a rushing rate of 6.4 yards per carry, an exceptional number of any back, let alone one working without an effective passing game to keep eight defenders out of the box.
Rodriguez is a big back – he is listed at 225 pounds – and he is one of those players that always seems to fall forwards for extra yards. Rodriguez is the single biggest threat to neutralize on this Kentucky team.
3. Keep on Keeping on
The series history here is about as one-sided as it gets between two FBS teams. Alabama is a ridiculous 37-2-1 all-time against Kentucky with the Wildcats picking up wins in 1918 and 1997. The Tide will start this as a four-touchdown favorite and there is no reason to think that Kentucky will stay in this one without some serious help from Alabama mistakes. Mac Jones just needs to play at the Heisman level he has so far this season – meaning no interceptions – while the Tide also needs to keep the penalty count low. One big weapon for Kentucky – punter Max Duffy – will not be a factor for field position as he will not be traveling with the team.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 3:00 PM CT (4:00 PM ET). You can watch this Alabama football game on the SEC Network.