Kentucky will travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the nation’s top ranked team on Saturday. The Cats face a tall task against one of the nation’s most explosive offenses led by a former UK commit. Here are some names to remember on Saturday:
Quarterback Mac Jones. The former Kentucky commit and Heisman Trophy candidate is lighting up the scoreboard as well as stat sheets in 2020. Replacing a legend can be tough. However, the Tide’s not missing a beat during the transition from Tua to Jones. The SEC’s leading passer is completing 78% of his throws and accounted for 2,196 yards through the air. He’s also passed for 16 touchdowns while averaging 366 yards per game. Jones’ specialty is in the deep passing game where he’s been highly accurate.
Running back Najee Harris. The conference’s top rusher, Harris is averaging 119 yards on the ground to go along with 14 touchdowns. He’s averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Listed at 6’2, 230 pounds, Harris combines speed and power to make him one of the best running backs in the nation.
Wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Smith’s 56 catches for 759-yards and 8 touchdowns rank him fifth in the nation and second in the SEC. A true homerun hitter, Smith is the focus of the Alabama vertical passing attack which has proved lethal to opposing secondaries.
Wide receiver John Metchie III. Jaylen Waddle was lost to injury against Tennessee. Metchie III has stepped in nicely as the Tide’s second option in the passing game. He’s grabbed 24 passes for 507 yards and is averaging an eye popping 21 yards per reception. Those numbers are good enough for fifth in the Southeastern Conference.
Mike linebacker Dylan Moses. Alabama’s leading tackler has 50 stops on the season to go along with 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 QB sacks and 1 interception. Moses is the quarterback of the Crimson Tide defense.
Cornerback Patrick Surtain II. A projected first round draft selection, Surtain II is a true lockdown corner and will be matched up with Josh Ali. He’s started 31 straight games and is the Tide’s most experienced defensive back.
Star Malachi Moore. The true freshman has excelled in Tuscaloosa. Moore has recorded 2 interceptions, 6 pass breakups and a QB hurry. He ranks second in the SEC in the Passes Defended category. The “Star” is a linebacker/safety hybrid defender in Nick Saban’s defensive scheme.
Strong safety Jordan Battle. Battle has accumulated 32 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 2 QB hurries. The diverse defensive back plays all over the field and could be a defender added to the box to stop the Kentucky running game.
Punter Sam Johnson. Due to Alabama’s offensive efficiency, Johnson’s duties have been relegated to the sideline for the majority of 2020. He’s averaging 35 yards per punt.
Kicker Will Reichard. The Tide placekicker from Hoover, Alabama is a perfect 8/8 on the season.
Returners Slade Bolden and DeVonta Smith. Both have taken over for Waddle and are dangerous in both punt and kickoff returns.