No. 1 Alabama is back in action Saturday after two weeks off — the first week was its scheduled bye week and the other wasdue to COVID-19 issues within the LSU program forcing the cancellation of its game vs. the Tigers. The Kentucky Wildcats come into Bryant-Denny Stadium looking to pull off the biggest upset of the 2020 season.
It’ll be a tough test for the Crimson Tide offense and Heisman Trophy hopeful Mac Jones. The Wildcats boast the SEC’s top passing defense (214.1 YPG). It will be fascinating to see how Jones, wide receivers DeVonta Smith and John Metchie III and running back Najee Harris handled the bye weeks and what new wrinkles are thrown into the mix.
Let’s break down the game and make picks straight up and against the spread.
Alabama: The big news this week in Tuscaloosa is the news that defensive lineman LaBryan Ray could be back in the mix after missing more than a month with an elbow injury. The 6-foot-5, 295-pounder from Madison, Alabama, has only played six games over the last two seasons despite being touted as one of the centerpieces of the Crimson Tide defensive line. The matchup to watch in this one will center around explosive passing plays.
Kentucky: The Wildcats are about as one-dimensional as a team can get without running the air raid or triple option. They rank second in the SEC at 195 rushing yards per game, but last in the SEC in passing offense at 123 yards per game. That doesn’t bode well against an Alabama defense that proved earlier this year against Georgia that it has not problem shutting down teams that struggle in the passing game. That passing offense has still been efficient despite the lack of explosiveness. Terry Wilson went 13-of-15 last week against Vanderbilt, and added 83 yards on the ground. He’s the key. If he finds a way to hit a big play or too, the Wildcats could stay in it.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 21 | Time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium — Tuscaloosa, Alabama
TV: SEC Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Alabama vs. Kentucky prediction, picks
Dial-a-score games involving Alabama are always sketchy because you never know when coach Nick Saban will take his foot off the gas. Knowing that, it’s important to take a look at the bigger picture. The Crimson Tide will host Auburn next week in the Iron Bowl, which is the most important game of the season every year — especially when it isn’t the last game of the regular season and the division title race is still on. Because of that, expect Saban to crank things down and get the second-teamers in as quickly as possible. Wilson and the Wildcats running game will shorten the game and get a cover … even though the game will never be in doubt. Pick: Kentucky (+30)
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