Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Football Game Three Notes: Kentucky


Tide and Wildcats battle in SEC opener for both squads
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

DeMeco Ryans
DeMeco Ryans

Helmet Kentucky Helmet Alabama
Game 3: Kentucky Wildcats (1-1) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (1-1)
September 13, 2003
Bryant-Denny Stadium
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
6:45 p.m. CST (ESPN)

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  • Alabama is 44-20-2 (.672) in SEC openers since 1933
  • Alabama has won 21 of its last 25 SEC openers, including a school-record 11-game winning streak, dating back to 1991
  • Bama is 16-3 (.842) in SEC openers here in Tuscaloosa
  • The 2003 season marks the first time since 1996 Alabama has opened its SEC schedule here in Tuscaloosa
  • Alabama is 16-3 (.842) in night games here in Bryant-Denny Stadium
  • The Kentucky game is the second of three straight night games for Alabama
  • Senior RB Shaud Williams needs four yards for 2,000 career rushing yards
  • Sophomore QB Brodie Croyle needs 56 yards for 1,500 career passing yards
  • Alabama has won 15 of its last 19 games, dating back to the 2001 season
  • Alabama has posted an 8-2 (.800) record in its last 10 SEC games, dating back to Nov. 10, 2001


Following a hard-fought 20-13 loss to the No. 1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners, the Alabama Crimson Tide (1-1, 0-0 SEC) returns to action this Saturday, Sept. 13 as they host the Kentucky Wildcats (1-1, 0-0 SEC) in a nationally televised game by ESPN.  Kickoff is set for 6:47 p.m. (CT) from Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The game will mark the 2003 SEC opener for both teams.  Kentucky is coming off a 37-6 win over Murray State last weekend in Lexington.  The Kentucky game will mark Alabama's fourth straight regular-season game on ESPN and sixth straight televised game, dating back to the 2002 season.  The Alabama-Kentucky game also pits the SEC's two newest head coaches in Mike Shula and Rich Brooks. Shula is in his first year as a collegiate head coach, while Brooks is back on the college sidelines for the first time since 1994, when he coached at Oregon.  Handling the announce duties for ESPN will be Ron Franklin (play-by-play), Mike Gottfried (analyst) and Adrian Karsten (sideline). The game will also be aired on the 80-plus station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play), Kenny Stabler (color analyst) and Tom Roberts (sidelines) describing the action.


The University of Alabama is in its 109th football season and has compiled a 755-285-43 (.719) all-time record in 1,083 games. The Crimson Tide played its first football game on Nov. 11, 1892 with a 56-0 win over Birmingham High School in Birmingham. Alabama is fifth on the all-time victory list for Division I. The Crimson Tide football legacy includes 12 national championships and 21 SEC championships.  UA has also logged 27 10-win seasons, the most by any Division I school. UA also ranks among the best in post-season play, holding the NCAA record for most bowl games (51) and wins (29).


Alabama head coach Mike Shula (1-1, .500) makes his head coaching debut during the 2003 season.  Shula has previously served as an assistant coach in the National Football League with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins.  A three-year letterman at Alabama (1984-86), Shula was a two-time All-SEC selection and threw for over 2,000 yards as a junior (1985), leading Alabama to dramatic come-from-behind wins over Georgia and Auburn.  Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks (92-111-4, .454) is in his 19th season as a collegiate head coach.  This is his first season with the Kentucky Wildcats (1-1, .500) after spending the last two years out of football.  He coached the Oregon Ducks from 1977-94, compiling a 91-109-4 (.459) record in Eugene.  After that, he served two years as head coach of the St. Louis Rams (1995-96) and four years as defensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons (1997-2000).


Alabama leads the all-time series with Kentucky, 31-2-1 in a series that dates back to 1917.  The two teams last met on Oct. 4, 1997 with Kentucky handing Alabama a 40-34 overtime loss in Lexington, its first win over the Crimson Tide since 1922.


Alabama steps out of conference nest Saturday, Sept. 20 to host the Northern Illinois Huskies in a 6 p.m. (CT) game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  NIU (2-0) has an open date this week.


*Kickoff on the Quad begins at 3:45 p.m. on the UA Quad with food, entertainment, autograph guests and more.

*Tommy Lewis, who lettered at fullback from 1951-53 under coach Red Drew will sign autographs in the  Legends Autograph Tent on the quad.

*Lewis, who now lives in Huntsville, will also run out the game ball prior to the Alabama-Kentucky game.

*The Alabama gymnastics team will receive their 2003 SEC Championship rings at halftime.

*The Alabama men's and women's tennis teams will sign autographs on the quad prior to the Alabama-Kentucky football game.


Alabama holds a commanding 31-2-1 (.925) series lead over Kentucky in a series that dates back to 1917.

*The Crimson Tide and Wildcats played every year from 1922-47 with the exception of 1943, but have played only nine times since.

*Alabama and Kentucky last played on Oct. 4, 1997 with the Wildcats scoring a 40-34 overtime win in Lexington to snap a 31-game unbeaten streak by Alabama in the series. 

*Tim Couch's 26-yard pass to Craig Yeast in overtime gave the Wildcats their first win over Alabama in 75 years.

*The Wildcats also beat the Crimson Tide 6-0 on Nov. 18, 1922 in Lexington for its only other series win.

*Alabama handed Kentucky a 35-7 loss in its last visit to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Oct. 5, 1996. 

*Alabama's 45-0 win over Kentucky on Oct. 4, 1980 at Legion Field was the 300th career coaching victory of the Crimson Tide's legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

*In 1981, Alabama's Peter Kim kicked four field goals in a 19-10 win over UK.

*Alabama avoided an upset at the hands of Kentucky on Oct. 1, 1988 as the Crimson Tide scored 24 fourth-quarter points to beat the Wildcats, 31-27.  Alabama trailed 27-17 with less than six minutes to play before staging the comeback.  Vince Sutton's three-yard TD pass to Gene Newberry in the final seconds was the game winner.

*The 2003 season marks the fourth time Alabama has opened its SEC schedule with Kentucky.  Alabama has won all three previous meetings in SEC openers in 1972 (35-0), 1973 (28-14) and 1989 (15-3).

*Alabama is undefeated (18-0-1) in 19 meetings  with Kentucky in the state of Alabama, including a 7-0 record here in Tuscaloosa.

UA-UK Series Record by Site

Site                 UA Record
Birmingham            7-0-1
Lexington            12-2
Louisville            1-0
Montgomery            4-0
Tuscaloosa            7-0

Alabama-Kentucky Scoreboard

Year   Result                       Site      
1917   Alabama 27, Kentucky 0       Lexington
1922   Kentucky 6, Alabama 0        Lexington
1923   Alabama 16, Kentucky 8       Tuscaloosa
1924   Alabama 42, Kentucky 7       Tuscaloosa
1925   Alabama 31, Kentucky 0       Birmingham
1926   Alabama 14, Kentucky 0       Birmingham
1927   Alabama 21, Kentucky 6       Birmingham
1928   Alabama 14, Kentucky 0       Montgomery
1929   Alabama 24, Kentucky 13      Montgomery
1930   Alabama 19, Kentucky 0       Lexington
1931   Alabama 9, Kentucky 7        Tuscaloosa
1932   Alabama 12, Kentucky 7       Lexington
1933   Alabama 20, Kentucky 0       Birmingham
1934   Alabama 34, Kentucky 14      Lexington
1935   Alabama 13, Kentucky 0       Birmingham
1936   Alabama 14, Kentucky 0       Lexington
1937   Alabama 41, Kentucky 0       Tuscaloosa
1938   Alabama 26, Kentucky 6       Lexington
1939   Alabama 7, Kentucky 7 (TIE)  Birmingham
1940   Alabama 25, Kentucky 0       Lexington
1941   Alabama 30, Kentucky 0       Tuscaloosa
1942   Alabama 14, Kentucky 0       Lexington
1944   Alabama 41, Kentucky 0       Montgomery
1945   Alabama 60, Kentucky 19      Louisville
1946   Alabama 21, Kentucky 7       Montgomery
1947   Alabama 13, Kentucky 0       Lexington
1972   Alabama 35, Kentucky 0       Birmingham
1973   Alabama 28, Kentucky 14      Lexington
1980   Alabama 45, Kentucky 0       Birmingham
1981   Alabama 19, Kentucky 10      Lexington
1988   Alabama 31, Kentucky 27      Lexington
1989   Alabama 15, Kentucky 3       Tuscaloosa
1996   Alabama 35, Kentucky 7       Tuscaloosa
1997   Kentucky 40, Alabama 34 (OT) Lexington

UA-UK Stats Breakdown

Category             UA          UK
Points Scored        53          51
 Average             26.5        25.5
Points Allowed       37          46
 Average             18.5        23.0

Rushing Yards        148.5       105.5
Passing Yards        199.0       220.5
Total Offense        347.5       326.0

Rushing Defense      62.5        162.5
Passing Defense      243.0       142.0
Total Defense        305.5       304.5

Turnovers            3           3
 Fumbles             1           0
 Interceptions       2           3

Penalties Per Game   4.5         8.5
 Average Yards       25.0        69.5

Punting (No-Avg)     11-37.1     10-36.9
Time of Possession   33:19       28:59
Third Down Conv.     14-32       11-25
Fourth Down Conv.    2-2         2-4
Red Zone             7-7         NA
Sacks By             1-8         6-28

RUSHING LEADERS           Att-Yds-TD
Shaud Williams (UA)       45-189-2
Alex Bwenge (UK)          12-65-0

PASSING LEADERS           Comp-Att-Int-Yds-TD
Brodie Croyle (UA)        38-69-2-398-2
Jared Lorenzen (UK)       32-52-2-433-6

Triandos Luke (UA)        8-93-2
Zach Fletcher (UA)        5-102-0

Derek Abney (UK)          6-83-1
Glenn Holt (UK)           5-65-2

PUNT RETURNS              No.-Yds-TD
Shaud Williams (UA)       3-79-1
Derek Abney (UK)          3-55-0

KICKOFF RETURNS           No.-Yds-TD
Ray Hudson (UA)           2-45-0
Derek Abney (UK)          4-130-0


*Legendary head coach Paul W. Bryant served as head coach at both Kentucky (1946-53) and Alabama (1958-82) in his illustrious coaching career.

*Bryant is still today the all-time winningest coach at Kentucky, compiling a 60-23-5 (.710) record in eight seasons in the Bluegrass. 

*Bryant compiled eight winning seasons and took the `Cats to four bowl games, including the 1951 Sugar Bowl.

*In the Jan. 1, 1951 Sugar Bowl, Bryant's team upset No. 1 ranked Oklahoma 13-7 to snap the Sooners' 31-game winning streak.

*Kentucky went 10-1 in 1950 and won the national championship (Sagarin) and the SEC Championship.

*Some of Bryant's star pupils were Bob Gain (1950 Outland Trophy), Babe Parilli, George Blanda, Jerry Claiborne and Charlie Bradshaw.

*Bryant's career at Alabama spanned 25 years and he became the game's all-time winningest coach in 1981. 

*During his tenure at Alabama, Bryant led the Crimson Tide to a 232-00-0 record, six national championships (1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978 and 1979) and 12 SEC titles.

*Current ESPN analyst Bill Curry also coached at both Alabama and Kentucky. 

*In three years at Alabama, Curry compiled a 26-10 (.722) record, leading the Crimson Tide to a share of the 1989 SEC Championship.  After a 10-2 season in 1989, he left for Kentucky, where he compiled a 26-52 (.333) record from 1990-96.

*Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history, was the running backs coach at Kentucky in 1959 under Blanton Collier.  Shula served on the same staff with two future head coaches, including Howard Schnellenberger and Bill Arnsparger.

*Larry "Dude" Hennessey, a native of Paris, Kentucky, played for Bryant at Kentucky and then served as an assistant under Bryant at Alabama from 1960-76.  Hennessey is still involved with Alabama athletics today, working in the TidePride office.

*Kentucky defensive coordinator Mike Archer spent the 1996-2000 seasons as linebacker coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Archer also served as assistant coach, defensive coordinator and head coach at LSU from 1984-90.

*UK sophomore linebacker Jon Sumrall is a 2000 graduate of Grissom HS in Hunstville.  As a prep senior, Sumrall recorded 104 tackles and led Grissom to the Class 6A state semifinals, before losing to eventual champion Hoover.  Sumrall also set the Grissom career record with 18 interceptions.

*Sumrall's brother, Joe, is a former student assistant in the Alabama Media Relations Office and former intern with the website.

*Former Alabama head basketball coach (1969-80) C.M. Newton is a UK grad and recently served as Director of Athletics at UK before his retirement.

*Former Alabama assistant football coach and baseball coach Jess Neely is the great uncle to Kentucky football SID Tony Neely. 

*There have been eight former Alabama players to serve as assistant coaches at Kentucky.

Player                  Position      UK Years
Vic Bradford (`39)      Backs         1951
Leon Fuller (`60)       DBs           1966-68
Carney Laslie (`33)     Tackles       1946-51
Walter Lewis (`84)      Backs         1990-91
Tommy Limbaugh (`67)    Asst. HC      1990-94
Bud Moore (`61)         O-Line        1962-64
Frank Moseley (`33)     Backs         1946-51
Charley Pell (`63)      Def. Line     1965-68

*There have been seven former Kentucky players to serve as assistant coaches at Alabama.

Player                       UA Years
Charlie Bradshaw (`49)       1959-61
Jerry Claiborne (`49)        1958-60
Phil Cutchin (`46)           1959
Ralph Genito (`49)           1965
Dude Hennessey (`54)         1960-76
Pat James (`50)              1958-64
Howard Schnellenberger (`55) 1961-65


The Alabama Crimson Tide has compiled a 44-20-2 (.682) all-time record in SEC openers since the league was formed in 1933.

*Alabama's first SEC game was a scoreless tie with Ole Miss at Birmingham's Municipal Stadium (now Legion Field) on Oct. 7, 1933.

*The Crimson Tide enters the 2003 season having won 11 consecutive SEC openers, dating back to 1992.

*Alabama's current 11-game winning streak in SEC openers, includes 10 wins over Vanderbilt (1992-2001) and one win over Arkansas (2002).

*The 2003 season marks the first time since 1996 the Crimson Tide has played its SEC opener here in Tuscaloosa. 

*Alabama is 3-0 in SEC openers against Kentucky and has not opened league play with the Wildcats since a 15-3 win here in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 23, 1989.  Alabama and Kentucky also opened SEC play in 1972 (UA 35-0) and 1973 (UA 28-14), with UA winning both games.