Alabama vs.Kentucky

  Date: 10/3/2009  
  Score: 38-20  
  Alabama vs. Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Running back Mark Ingram ran for a career-high 140 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns and quarterback Greg McElroy threw for two scores, as third-ranked Alabama took advantage of four Kentucky turnovers in a 38-20 victory over the Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium.

McElroy completed 15-of-26 passes for 148 yards in the victory, to lead Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC). Mike Hartline threw for 168 yards with a touchdown on 17-of-31 passing but was picked off three times for Kentucky (2-2, 0-2).

Javier Arenas returned the opening kickoff 60 yards to give Alabama the ball at the Kentucky 37, and three plays later Ingram scored on an 11-yard run for a quick 7-0 lead.

Kentucky’s first series ended in an interception that Alabama was unable to convert into points, but UK placekicker Lones Seiber drilled a pair of 49-yard field goals to cap the next two Wildcat possessions, making it a one-point game after 15 minutes.

The Alabama offense went dormant after its opening series and momentum appeared to be on Kentucky’s side until the Tide scored a pair of touchdowns in a 19-second span just before the half.

Alabama converted four third downs during the 13-play, 97-yard march and McElroy connected on 5-of-6 throws to key the drive. He finished it with a three-yard toss to tight end Colin Peek for a touchdown and a 14-6 edge with just 40 seconds left in the half.

On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Locke caught a short pass from Hartline but had the ball knocked out of his hands by Crimson Tide linebacker Rolando McClain. It popped into the air for linebacker Courtney Upshaw, who raced 45 yards the other way for an Alabama touchdown and a 21-6 lead with 21 seconds to play in the half.

UK’s first series of the second half ended with an interception by McClain, who returned the pick 21 yards to the Wildcat 38. Ingram scored on a 32-yard run soon after to increase the Alabama lead to 28-6.

Alabama linebacker Eryk Anders then picked off Hartline moments later, giving the Crimson Tide the ball at the Kentucky 47 to set up a 36-yard field goal from Leigh Tiffin.

Kentucky’s Randall Cobb scored on a 45-yard touchdown to make it 31-13, but Alabama followed with a 76-yard drive for another score. UK’s Alfonso Smith scored on a two-yard run early in the fourth to account for the final margin.