Tide notebook: Bradley Sylve, Christion Jones, fumble problems
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Oct 12, 2013 | 3060 views |  0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones (22) looks for running room against the defense of Kentucky linebacker Khalid Henderson. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones (22) looks for running room against the defense of Kentucky linebacker Khalid Henderson. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Cornerback Bradley Sylve started in place of true freshman Eddie Jackson in Alabama’s 48-7 win at Kentucky on Saturday.

Jackson injured his ankle in last week’s game and was limited during practice this week.

It marked Sylve’s second start of his college career. Sylve, a redshirt sophomore, also started against Colorado State earlier this season.

Sylve had a pass breakup on the Tide’s second defensive play.

Jones on the run

When Alabama coach Nick Saban described wide receiver Christion Jones last week, he said the junior could be “a running back.”

What Saban didn’t say was that the Tide’s offense was adding a new wrinkle.

In the second quarter, Jones motioned into the backfield, took a handoff from quarterback AJ McCarron and picked up 14 yards on the carry.

HaHa stays home

Safety HaHa Clinton-Dix did not make the trip with the team. This is the second game Clinton-Dix has missed since his suspension.

He has continued to practice with the team and there has been no timetable set for his return.

Touchdown streak

Alabama’s defense pushed its streak of holding opponents without a touchdown to 14 quarters, but the Wildcats snapped it in the third quarter on a 30-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Maxwell Smith to wide receiver Javess Blue.

It was only the sixth touchdown Alabama has allowed through the air, five of which happened at the hands of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

The defense limited Kentucky to only 62 yards of offense in the first half (21 passing, 41 rushing). Kentucky was 0-for-6 in third down attempts and had only four first downs.

In addition, for the seventh time in its last 10 games, Alabama has held its opponent scoreless in the first half. In addition to today’s game, the Crimson Tide shutout Georgia State (Oct. 5), Ole Miss (Sept. 28), Colorado State (Sept. 21), Notre Dame (Jan. 7), Auburn (Nov. 24, 2012) and Western Carolina (Nov. 17, 2012) during the first two quarters of play.

Alabama entered halftime with a 24-0 lead over Kentucky. The Crimson Tide is now 68-3 when leading at the half under head coach Nick Saban.

With Cade Foster’s 25-yard field goal in the second quarter, Alabama has scored in 162 straight games — the longest streak in program history.

Racking up yards

For the second straight game, Alabama reached 150 yards of total offense in the first quarter, with 97 of those yards coming on the ground and the other 62 in the air.

The Crimson Tide finished the half with 188 yards rushing, which was the most for Alabama over the first 30 minutes of play since it collected 192 against Western Carolina on Nov. 17, 2012.

The series

With Saturday’s loss, the Wildcats have now lost the last five meetings between the two dating back 1997.

The Crimson Tide owns a 36-2-1 record over the Wildcats. Alabama is now 15-2 in Lexington.

Fumble-itis

Alabama’s two leading rushers, T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake, both had a costly fumbled in the first quarter. On separate drives, both coughed the ball up with the Tide in scoring position.

According to ESPN research, the Tide’s two leading rushers haven’t combined for two lost fumbles since 2009.

Yeldon and Drake both bounced back, as they had two touchdowns apiece and both went over 100 yards rushing for the day.

Kentucky QB goes down

Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow went down in the first quarter with a left ankle injury. X-rays were negative, but Whitlow did not return.

Whitlow finished with zero rushing yards and did not complete a pass in limited action. He was replaced by Maxwell Smith.

Up next

Alabama returns home with Arkansas heading to Tuscaloosa next week.

The Razorbacks are 3-4 after being steam rolled by South Carolina 52-7. They have lost four straight.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m., and ESPN or ESPN2 will carry the broadcast. The Crimson Tide has won six straight in the series and four straight in Tuscaloosa.
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