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Alabama 63, Kentucky 3: Three things we learned from the Tide's beatdown of the Wildcats

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Alabama

Nov 21, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses (32) stops Kentucky running back Kavosiey Smoke (22) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports

TUSCALOOSA —

Here are three things we learned in Alabama’s 63-3 win over Kentucky.

1. Alabama can live without Miller Forristall

Alabama's senior tight end has received praise from all corners of the program lately for his development into a more well-rounded tight end. His playing time has reflected that, by far the most of all UA tight ends.

He was nonexistent Saturday. He was in pads and warmed up, but Alabama coach Nick Saban said Forristall sat out with an injured ankle and shoulder. He added that Forristall could've played in an emergency.

Jahleel Billingsley caught three passes for 78 yards in Forristall’s absence. Kendall Randolph and Carl Tucker contributed some respectable blocking, but Billingsley was the only one used as a receiving threat with any regularity.

Should Alabama have to live without Forristall in future games — and when it has to next year and beyond — UA has at least one option who can make an impact as a pass catcher.

2. Mac Jones got a little rusty in the break

Part of Jones’ surge into prominence and the upper echelon of the Heisman Trophy race was his alarming efficiency. Entering Saturday he was completing 78.5 percent of his passes while going downfield enough to average 12.4 yards per attempt. Among quarterbacks with more than three games played, he led the nation in both.

Two weekends away left Jones less than perfect against the Wildcats, and with some luck in his favor. He ended the game with one interception, but nearly had another in the first half, saved by a drop. One of his touchdown passes was an impressive catch in traffic by DeVonta Smith.

A rusty Jones is still better than most teams have at the quarterback position — 16-for-24 (66.6%) for 230 yards and two touchdowns — but it’s not up to his norm.

If it’s more than rush, UA should know quickly. Auburn and Arkansas are similarly good against the pass to Kentucky.

3. Alabama has its punter in Charlie Scott

Punting has been an adventure for UA since JK Scott left after the 2017 season. His younger brother walking on to the program may be the short-term fix.

After an experiment with Sam Johnson to start the season, Charlie Scott took over as UA’s punter and turned in another impressive performance against Kentucky: a 51-yard punt and a 41-yard punt. It’s far from elite punting on a conference or national level, but it’s more than enough to improve a team that doesn’t do much punting anyway.

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