By Michael Hicks
Wildcats Record: 4-0, (0-0)
LIVE TV: CBS Sports (Vern Lundquist, play-by-play; Gary Danielson, color analyst; Tracy Wolfson, sidelines)
Kentucky is stacked at tailback and they will run the ball. With Derrick Locke averaging 5.8 yards a carry and Alfonso Smith averaging 6.3. Tony Dixon, who leads the team in scoring is nursing an ankle injury and may not play Saturday. Offensive tackle Justin Jeffries will be out with a sprained knee.
The defense may be the best in the SEC. UK ranks No. 1 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in scoring defense, allowing 5.5 points per game, and No. 4 in total defense at 227.3 yards per game allowed. They are also first in pass-efficiency defense, and have a turnover margin of plus-four. The defense may take a hit with starting Middle linebacker Micah Johnson doubtful for the game with an ankle injury. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound junior is UK ‘s second-leading tackler with 17.
Kentucky ranks first in the FBS in kickoff returns at 38.5 yards a return. Derrick Locke had a 100-yard kickoff return Saturday against Western Kentucky .
Rich Brooks is in his sixth season at Kentucky with a record of 29-35. Against SEC schools, Brooks composite record is 11-29 (.275).
Alabama leads the series 33-2-1. Alabama won the last meeting between the teams with a 45-17 win in 2004. The Wildcats are 0-8 in Tuscaloosa.