TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Shaud Williams ran for 174 yards and
three touchdowns on 30 carries as Alabama overpowered Kentucky
27-17 on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (2-1) controlled both lines of scrimmage and
outgained the Wildcats (1-2) 464-195 yards in the Southeastern
Conference opener for both teams. Alabama has won 12 straight SEC
openers and owns the series 32-2-1.
The Tide's Brodie Croyle completed 14 of 27 passes for 198
yards, including a key 21-yarder to Brandon Greer on fourth-and-6
late in the game. Williams ran for a 7-yard touchdown on the next
play with 5:11 left and also scored on a 15-yarder and 2-yarder.
Jared Lorenzen finally was able to connect downfield after that,
twice hitting Derek Abney down the left sidelines, including a
24-yard touchdown with 4:03 to play. Abney set up the scoring drive
with a 44-yard kick return into Alabama territory.
The Tide's Brandon Greer recovered the onside kick and the Tide
ran out the clock to end Kentucky's hopes of a big comeback.
Alabama rushed for 266 yards on 53 carries while Kentucky gained
just 26 yards on 23 rushes. Lorenzen was 15-of-24 for 169 yards but
had to rely on short passes under constant pressure, and the Tide's
swarming defense bottled up most of those.
The teams traded field goals in the third quarter after Alabama
led 10-7 at halftime. But Williams squirted through the line for a
2-yard touchdown on the opening play of the fourth quarter for a
Taylor Begley missed a 49-yard field goal midway through the
fourth quarter for the Wildcats.
The Tide defense allowed few such opportunities.
Kentucky had just 6 yards and no first downs on its first four
possessions before Lorenzen got the offense going with his arm and
his legs. The Wildcats defense also came up big late in the first
half to keep Alabama's lead at 10-7.
Lorenzen hit tight end Win Gaffron on a 33-yard third-down
strike to keep the drive alive and ran 10 yards on a quarterback
draw to the 1. Draak Davis plunged into the end zone on the next
play to make it 10-7 with 6:33 left in the first half.
Kentucky's Chad Anderson picked off a Croyle pass in the end
zone with two seconds left in the half, ending a 16-play drive.
It was Croyle's third attempt into the end zone from the 4-yard
The Tide opened the scoring with Williams' 15-yard run and a
43-yard field goal by Brian Bostick, who missed a 27-yarder to end
the opening drive.
Williams reached 2,000 yards for his career on a 4-yarder to
start the game and barely stopped running much of the night.
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