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September 28, 2013

ALABAMA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Another reversed targeting call riles Tide in shutout of red-hot Rebels

(Continued)

TUSCALOOSA — % Pushing their buttons: Apparently Eddie Lacy left another spin button in Tuscaloosa before heading to the NFL.

And T.J. Yeldon was the running back to push it Saturday, instantly turning around a sluggish first half of offense for Alabama with a snazzy 68-yard scoring scamper on the second play of the third quarter.

The speedy sophomore began the sequence by bursting through a hole up the middle, heading right and spinning around the Rebels' only potential tackler before sprinting untouched the rest of the way to the end zone.

The carry was a career long for Yeldon and gave the Tide a much-more comfortable 16-0 cushion.

While the spin button belonged to Yeldon, its turbo counterpart was later called upon by Kenyon Drake.

On the first play following Alabama's safety, the sophomore turned on the jets and quickly got out in the open field for a 50-yard score, the Tide's last of the night.

Yeldon wrapped up the battle of unbeatens with 121 rushing yards on 17 carries, while Drake came up just short of triple-digits with 99 on 12.

% A leg to stand on: Senior kicker Cade Foster provided all of Alabama's points in the first half, connecting on a career-high three field goals, including a career-long 53-yarder that had just enough to clear the uprights past the midway point in the second quarter.

Foster also connected on kicks of 28 and 42 yards.

The last was set up by a heads-up sequence from AJ McCarron.

After a false start pushed the Tide back five yards and forced a furious Nick Saban to call a timeout to avoid a 10-second runoff on a penalty called within the final minute of a half, the senior signal-caller threw a short pass over the middle to Yeldon, who took it right and tried to hurdle a set of defenders before being tackled just short of the first down.

With the clock quickly approaching zero, McCarron calmly completed a sideline pass to Kenny Bell, leaving Foster with two seconds on the clock, more than enough to boot through the 42-yarder.

% Injury update: A knee injury forced sophomore center Ryan Kelly to make an early exit in the first half. Junior Chad Lindsay took over the role for the rest of the contest.

After the game, Saban said Kelly suffered a stressed MCL and is likely to be out for two or three weeks.

% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 138 or at robk@cullmantimes.com.

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