No. 8 Alabama took care of business on the road, clinching the SEC West with a dominating 49-21 victory at Kentucky.
In a game that had the ingredients of being a trap game, Alabama eliminated doubt early with a fast start, led by a six-touchdown day for quarterback Jalen Milroe.
Here are some key takeaways from the game.
Jalen Milroe Makes History
Over the past two weeks, Jalen Milroe has displayed the hard work that he and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees have put in to develop him into one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. Milroe threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 36 yards and three more touchdowns. His six touchdown day puts him in the Alabama history books as the first player to have three passing and three rushing touchdowns in a game. He also joins Tua Tagovailoa and Bryce Young, becoming the third player in school history to record six touchdowns in a game.
Rush Defense Comes Up Strong
Stopping the run was a crucial key for Alabama to be successful, and the defense did its part. Kentucky was unable to do anything on the ground against the front seven of Alabama. The Crimson Tide held Kentucky to just 95 yards rushing with the bulk of those happening on a busted 74-yard run given up late by the second team defense.
Opening Drive Success
Alabama finally scored on their opening drive, the first opening drive touchdown since the season opener. Alabama put together a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended in a 26-yard touchdown pass from Milroe to tight end Amari Niblack.
Punt Return Issues
Kool-Aid McKinstry returning punts this year has been the polar opposite of a season ago. Last year, McKinstry was one of the most dangerous punt return guys in the league. This year, he has mostly either made fair catches or muffed the punts. On Satirday, he returned two for just 22 yards and also muffed a punt, giving the ball to Kentucky in Alabama territory. The muffed punt set up Kentucky's first touchdown of the game.
SEC West Champions
With the win Saturday, Alabama is the SEC West champions for a league-high 15th time. Alabama will now have a date with the SEC East champion in Atlanta. Most likely it will be against Georgia, who can clinch the SEC East with a win Saturday night over Ole Miss.
Alabama will play their last home game of the season next Saturday against Chattanooga at 11 a.m. CT.
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