Wildcats aim for upset against No. 2 Tide Print
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Friday, 03 October 2008 11:10
NCAAF Headline News

 TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -Not all of college football's unbeaten teams are perceived equally.
Consider Alabama. The Crimson Tide has received national acclaim and a No. 2 ranking as reward for its 5-0 start.
As for undefeated Kentucky - wait, the Wildcats are unbeaten? Who knew? Maybe not many outside of the Commonwealth.
Those two Southeastern Conference surprises meet Saturday with Kentucky wanting what Alabama has: Respect.
The Wildcats (4-0, 0-0 SEC) have beaten up on suspect competition and remain among the others receiving votes in the rankings. Alabama (5-0, 2-0) has marquee wins over Clemson and Georgia and hasn't broken much of a sweat in the process.
Kentucky. Count Kentucky coach Rich Brooks among those wowed by the Tide's dominant beginning.
``It's just one of the most impressive starts I've ever seen a team have, particularly one that was fairly highly regarded at the start of the season but not one of the top two or three teams in the nation,'' Brooks said. ``They have just gone out and smashmouth kicked fanny on everybody they've played basically. They've not only beaten people, they've destroyed them.''
Kentucky has beaten the likes of Norfolk State, Middle Tennessee and a bigger name in Louisville.
Favored by 16 1/2 points, Alabama players watched last week's upsets that included Mississippi over Florida and Oregon State over Southern California. That leaves them wary.
``It just lets you know that anybody can sneak up on you and beat you,'' Tide linebacker Cory Reamer said. ``The SEC's a conference that it can happen every week. You've got to be ready every week or you'll get beaten.''
While the Wildcats are just getting started in SEC play, 'Bama is hoping not to go into an open date on a sour note just after landing their highest ranking since 1993.
oad since topping No. 4 Penn State 24-20 in 1977.
Then again, there was that triple-overtime win over No. 1 LSU last season at Commonwealth Stadium.
``We're playing on the road against the No. 2 team in the nation, probably the best team in the SEC,'' Kentucky defensive tackle Corey Peters said. ``It's a good opportunity for us to make a name for ourselves.''
Kentucky brings in the nation's top scoring defense, giving up just 5.5 points per game and holding three opponents without a touchdown.
Alabama has the SEC's top scoring (37 ppg) and rushing offense (215 ypg).
``They are maybe the best defensive team in the country,'' Tide coach Nick Saban said. ``They are physical, they play with toughness, and they make good sound adjustments in what they do. Obviously giving up five points a game, they are hard to score on which makes you a good defensive team.''
Kentucky's defense hasn't given up a rushing touchdown this season.
The Tide's running game could put that to the test. Glen Coffee, Mark Ingram and Roy Upchurch have powered a ground game that's produced 13 TDs behind an offensive line that has been dominant.
Brooks calls it a ``bloody-your-nose offense.''
face all year,'' Peters said. ``They're big and they're strong and there's no secret about what they'll do: They'll come out and try and hit us in the mouth. But I feel confident with our defensive line and that we'll be up for the challenge.''
A big challenge facing Alabama is coping with the spotlight and hype that accompanies such a lofty ranking. And the fact that it can serve as a motivator for opponents, too.
``We're going to have to go out and play the game, like we would if we were the last team in the country,'' Tide quarterback John Parker Wilson said. ``Kentucky is going to be ready to play, they might be more read to play now. It's going to be a good game now that we're ranked higher, but that's more motivation for them.''
 

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