|October 14, 2013||Alabama QB AJ McCarron says walk-on QB Luke Del Rio will be a 'heck of a player in the future'|
|October 14, 2013||Alabama safety HaHa Clinton-Dix's status unchanged|
|October 14, 2013||Alabama RG Anthony Steen named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week|
|October 14, 2013||Kickoff for Tennessee at Alabama set for 2:30 p.m. CT on October 26|
|October 12, 2013||Full coverage from No. 1 Alabama's 48-7 victory over Kentucky|
|October 12, 2013||Five questions with a Kentucky beat writer|
|October 10, 2013||Thursday's Alabama coverage in the Anniston Star|
|October 09, 2013||Alabama coach Nick Saban provides brief update on safety HaHa Clinton-Dix|
|October 09, 2013||Nick Saban on Amari Cooper: 'He's getting healthy and he's had a really good week'|
|October 09, 2013||Wednesday's Alabama coverage in the Anniston Star|
TUSCALOOSA -- After Alabama coach Nick Saban praised walk-on quarterback Luke Del Rio during his weekly radio show, starting quarterback AJ McCarron spoke highly of the true freshman quarterback.
“Luke has been very good. I like Luke a lot,” McCarron said on Monday. “I kind of mess with him. He’s always around me trying to learn everything. Sometimes you’ve got to try to hide from him, get away.
"He’s a really smart kid, throws a really good ball, and I think he’s going to be a heck of a player in the future. I really do.”
Del Rio was one of four quarterbacks who traveled to Texas A&M and Kentucky, along with McCarron, backup Blake Sims and redshirt freshman Alec Morris.
Del Rio is the son of Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. He is one of three true freshmen quarterbacks on the Tide’s roster along with Cooper Bateman and Parker McLeod.
On Thursday, Saban said Del Rio is playing the role of the team’s third-string running back.
“We’ve been really pleased with the way Luke Del Rio has developed as a quarterback,” Saban said. “Probably not playing him this year unless we have to but he’s done a really good job as the third guy.”
A true freshman quarterback has never taken a snap during Saban’s tenure at Alabama.
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama coach Nick Saban said nothing has changed regarding the status of suspended safety HaHa Clinton-Dix.
During his Monday news conference, Saban said Clinton-Dix is helping the Crimson Tide on the scout team defense
“I think he’s done as good a job in trying to practice and continue to improve working and practicing on scout team as anyone could,” Saban said.
Clinton-Dix has missed the past two games after being suspended for a violation of team rules. Saban and Alabama have not commented on the specifics of Clinton-Dix’s situation.
“I’m sure it’s a difficult circumstance,” Saban said. “Nobody that is a true competitor likes not to be there for his teammates. HaHa has been that kind of player for us.”
Sophomore Landon Collins has filled in for Clinton-Dix at free safety. Saban said he would provide an update on Clinton-Dix when there is new information.
“You’ve got to make good choices and decisions about what you do, and when you don’t do the right things, there are consequences that we all have to suffer through,” Saban said. “Hopefully this will be a great learning experience for not only HaHa but each and every player on our team.”
Watch Nick Saban's full Monday news conference (Courtesy of 247Sports)
Vanderbilt at Texas A&M, 11:21 a.m., SEC TV
Tennessee at Alabama, 2:30 p.m., CBS
South Carolina at Missouri, 6 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2
Furman at LSU, 6 p.m., Institutional PPV
Florida Atlantic at Auburn, 6:30 p.m., FSN
Idaho at Ole Miss, 6:30 p.m., CSS
Q: The Wildcats are 1-4, but does the win-loss record tell the entire story?
A: Kentucky’s record is a little bit deceiving in that it’s played the toughest stretch in school history, with losses against three straight top 20 opponents in South Carolina, Florida and Louisville. The Cats’ loss to Western Kentucky had a lot to do with nerves, new coaches and new schemes. UK relies heavily on freshmen and struggled in its opener.
Q: Jalen Whitlow played a great game against South Carolina. What makes him a dangerous quarterback?
A: Jalen Whitlow is most dangerous because he is hard to contain and he makes plays with his feet. The quarterback leads UK in rushing with 238 yards and three touchdowns this season. As he's continued to improve as a passer, defenses are having to play UK a little more honestly, as South Carolina learned in the fourth quarter. Whitlow guided UK on three scoring drives, hitting 4 of 6 passes, including a season-best 33-yarder.
Q: What's Mark Stoops message to his players heading into this game?
A: The same message he's had all season, which is just keep improving, keep getting better every day, every play. UK knows it has a huge mountain to climb here, but it believes that there has been improvement each week and eventually it will equal wins.
Q: How does Kentucky's defense plan to slow/stop Alabama's balanced offensive attack?
A: Behind Stoops, a defensive guy, Kentucky has been adept at disguising defenses. Using essentially five down linemen against Louisville, the Cats were able to contain a high-powered Cardinals offense for nearly three quarters. I'd say mostly, UK will throw multiple looks at Alabama, hoping to at least slow the Tide down. But Stoops admitted this week that Alabama is able to score in so many different ways, they're tough to plan against.
Q: Give Alabama fans a Kentucky player on offense and defense who could surprise the Crimson Tide.
A: Offense: Jojo Kemp (true freshman running back has bursts of speed and big-play ability). Defense: Za'Darius Smith (junior college defensive end has a knack for getting to opposing quarterbacks and making plays).
Prediction: Alabama 42, Kentucky 6