Did Tide Leave The Bluegrass With a Title?
Jalen Milroe accounted for six touchdowns to lead Alabama to an SEC West clinching 49-21 win at Kentucky. He threw for three scores and ran for three more, showing why he is seventh in the latest Vegas Heisman odds. Here's how he did it.
"He's given us an opportunity to get where we want to go," said Tide coach Nick Saban of his quarterback.
Milroe added, "The biggest thing about this football team is we have not given up, Coach Saban and Coach Tommy Rees have trusted in me to play this position."
Alabama played without top receiver Jermaine Burton who was ill. Also missing were receiver JaCorey Brooks, linebacker Deontae Lawson and safety Jaylen Key.
It didn't seem to matter.
Aided by his own scrambles and a Kendrick Law jet sweep,Milroe guided Bama 80 yards on its opening drive that he capped with a 26-yard strike to Amari Niblack for a 7-0 lead with 9:32 left in the first quarter.
After the Tide defense forced a three-and-out, Milroe found an open Kobe Prentice for 40 yards and six points. It was Milroe's seventh straight completion to open the game and Bama led 14-0 with 5:32 left in the period.
After Berrion Brown's fumble was scooped by Caleb Downs and returned to the 1, Milroe scored behind a "Tush Push" and limped off with Bama up 21 points less than 10 minutes into the game.
KoolAid McKinstry muffed a punt that Kentucky recovered at the Tide 32 to give the seemingly dead Cats new life. After Downs was flagged for pass interference in the end zone, Kentucky got on the board when Devin Leary hit Tayvion Robinson from the 6. With 90 seconds left in the quarter Alabama led 21-7, which held through the period.
Alabama overcame a holding call with a 27-yard Milroe lob to an open Roydell Williams for a 28-7 advantage with 10:14 left in the half.
Kentucky threatened on its ensuing possession but Leary was thrown for a loss on fourth -and-one inside the 10, but Milroe was intercepted at midfield. Terrion Arnold returned the favor by picking Leary off at his own 31.
Bama took that 28-7 lead into intermission.
Aided by a personal foul on Jah-Marien Latham, Kentucky marched 75 yards to start the second half and scored 4:07 into the quarter on a two-yard Ray Davis rush. That cut the Alabama lead to 28-14.
Alabama responded, thanks in part to a Williams 35-yard kick return. Milroe then converted a third-and 17 by hitting Prentice, and Milroe accounted for this fifth touchdown of the day with a two-yard draw play. With 6:29 left in the third, the Tide was up 35-14 and in control.
Milroe scored on another "brotherly shove" from the one to open the fourth quarter and Bama had put the cats away up 42-14.
Ty Simpson relieved Milroe and played the final 13 minutes.
Alabama will host Chattanooga on Senior Day at Bryant-Denny next Saturday at 11 a.m. CT.
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Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison