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2012 class for Kentucky announced

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(Kentucky’s press release on the Wildcats’ 2012 recruiting class.)

Daron Blaylock, DB, 6-1, 215, Fr-HS, Marietta, Ga. (Walton) – Played both safety and linebacker in high school … Second-team all-state in Class AAAAA by the Georgia Sports Writers Association … Played at Walton HS in Marietta, Ga. … Helped Walton to a 14-1 record and state runnerup finish in Class AAAAA … Ranked as the No. 31 inside linebacker in the nation by 24/7 Sports … One of the nation’s top-100 linebackers by … Posted 75 tackles and an interception during his junior season … Has been timed in the 4.5-second range in the 40-yard dash, an excellent time for a linebacker … Coached by Rocky Hidalgo … Son of Mookie Blaylock, who played 13 years in the NBA with New Jersey, Atlanta and Golden State … Twin brother of fellow UK signee Zack Blaylock … Name pronounced same as “Darren.”

Shawn Blaylock, DB, 5-10, 166, Fr-HS, Lithonia, Ga. (Stephenson) – Two-way player in high school, seeing action as a wide receiver and cornerback at Stephenson HS in Stone Mountain, Ga. … Projects as a defensive back as a collegian … Broke the school record with three interceptions in a game … Team posted a 9-2 record and advanced to the state playoffs both his seasons at Stephenson … Also played corner his sophomore season at Shiloh HS in Snellville, Ga. … The nation’s No. 77 corner by … Has been timed under 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash … Coached at Stephenson by Ron Gartrell … Teammate of current UK signee DeMarcus Sweat … Will join former Stephenson products Jabari Johnson, Raymond Sanders and Ronnie Shields at UK.

Zack Blaylock, DB, 6-0, 188, Fr-HS, Marietta, Ga. (Walton) – Big-play performer from his safety position … Intercepted 11 passes as a senior, returning five for touchdowns … First-team all-state in Class AAAAA by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia Sports Writers Association … Played at Walton HS in Marietta, Ga. … Helped Walton to a 14-1 record and state runnerup finish in Class AAAAA … Cobb County Defensive Player of the Year … Rated the No. 34 safety in the nation by … Rated No. 52 nationally by … One of the top-40 prospects in Georgia by SuperPrep … Coached by Rocky Hidalgo … Son of Mookie Blaylock, who played 13 years in the NBA with New Jersey, Atlanta and Golden State … Twin brother of fellow UK signee Daron Blaylock.

Kory Brown, DB, 6-0, 208, So-JC, Moncks Corner, S.C. (Berkeley/East Central Community College) – Enrolled at UK in January … Has three years of eligibility at UK after redshirting 2011 while recovering from a knee injury … Spent the last two years at East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss. … Played four games at safety as a freshman until sustaining the injury … During those four games he made 26 tackles, caused two fumbles and intercepted a pass … The nation’s No. 69 junior-college player as ranked by 247 Sports, also the No. 11 juco player in Mississippi and the nation’s No. 3 juco safety … Coached by Brian Anderson … “Kory’s physical nature stands out,” Anderson said. “He gets off blocks well and is a big hitter. He’s also a quality young man of the finest character.” … Played high school football at Berkeley HS in Moncks Corner, S.C. … Three-year starter who played cornerback and safety … An all-region pick as a senior … Helped Berkeley to three strong runs in the state playoffs, including a state semifinal appearance his junior year and quarterfinal berths as a sophomore and senior … Played for the winning South team in the South Carolina North-South All-Star Game following his senior season … Coached at Berkeley by Jerry Brown … Berkeley’s defensive coordinator, Ed Moore, said, “Kory was the most instinctive player I’ve ever coached, always at the right place at the right time. He’s a very physical player, very good in run support as well as pass coverage. He’s also a great young man.” … In addition to football, participated in basketball, baseball, wrestling and track and field in high school … Advanced to the state meet in the high jump his senior year and had a best leap of six feet, four inches … Comes from an athletic family … An older brother, Omar, played football at Marshall and was a senior in 2011 … Another brother, Evan McKelvey, currently plays at Marshall … A cousin J.J. McKelvey, played at Clemson and is now playing arena football … Kory enjoys community service and has helped coach children in youth league sports.

Thomas Chapman, DL, 6-4, 285, Fr-HS, Louisville, Ky. (duPont Manual) – Highly regarded defensive tackle prospect … The nation’s No. 30 DT and the No. 2 prospect in Kentucky by … The No. 31 tackle and No. 4 Kentucky prospect by 24/7 Sports … The No. 32 tackle nationally by … No. 4 in Kentucky by ESPN and SuperPrep … Selected for the Offense-Defense All-America Game at Cowboys Stadium … Played at duPont Manual HS in Louisville … Bounced back to play his senior year after missing most of his junior season because of injury … Team went 9-3 his senior season and was in the second round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs … Coached by Dr. Oliver Lucas.

Landon Foster, K/P, 6-1, 198, Fr-HS, Thompson Station, Tenn. (Independence) – Has the ability and versatility to be a punter and kicker on the collegiate level … Named first-team all-state in Class AAAAAA as a kicker by the Tennessee Sports Writers’ Association … Picked as the punter for the all-state “Dream Team,” covering all classifications, by the Nashville Tennesseean … Made 11 of 16 field goals as a senior with a long of 49 … Averaged 41.3 yards per punt… 50 of his 56 kickoffs went for touchbacks and four of the others were on-side kicks … Named his team’s Most Valuable Player, a rare honor for a kicking specialist … Independence HS went 8-3 his senior year and reached the state playoffs in Class AAAAAA … Rated the No. 8 kicker in the nation by and the No. 12 kicker by 24/7 Sports … The No. 10 prospect in the state of Tennessee by SuperPrep, which wrote, “Technically strong with good hang times and directional ability. Also performs well under pressure.” … Played for the winning West team in the Tennessee East-West All-Star Game … Coached by Kevin Dyson … Has worked with former Tennessee Titans punter Craig Hentrich … Also played soccer in high school.

Patrick Graffree, DL, 6-4, 270, Fr-HS, Elizabethtown, Ky. (Central Hardin) – Second-team all-state as a senior by The Associated Press and the Louisville Courier-Journal … Played at Central Hardin HS in Cecilia, Ky. … Team’s best finish was 9-3 as a junior, advancing to the second round of the state playoffs … Totaled 91 tackles as a junior, featuring 10 tackles for loss, six quarterback sacks and a pass interception … Participated in a pair of postseason all-star games after his senior year … Played for the winning Greater Louisville team in the Best of the Bluegrass All-Star Game, defeating a team from the remainder of the state … Also played in the Kentucky vs. Tennessee Border Bowl … One of the top-10 prospects in Kentucky by, 24/7 Sports and SuperPrep … The nation’s No. 72 defensive tackle by 24/7 … Head coaches at Central Hardin were former UK quarterback Mark Perry and Mike Lawson.

Josh Harris, DB, 6-0, 191, Fr-HS, Maysville, Ky. (Mason County) – Versatile athlete … His multiple skills were displayed at Mason County (Ky.) High School, where he played running back, receiver, linebacker and defensive back … Rushed for 2,848 yards and 42 touchdowns in his career, despite missing most of his senior season because of injury … Totaled 582 receiving yards and eight TDs … Also threw a couple of touchdown passes … Totaled 287 tackles and six fumble recoveries on defense … Team went 9-2 his junior season and 10-1 as a sophomore … One of the nation’s top-60 running backs as chosen by … The No. 2 prospect in Kentucky by SuperPrep … Coached by David Buchanan … Also played basketball in high school.

Khalid Henderson, LB, 6-0, 213, Fr-HS, Mableton, Ga. (Pebblebrook) – Linebacker combines good size with outstanding athleticism … Has been timed as fast as 4.57 seconds in the 40-yard dash … Made 74 tackles with two interceptions as a senior at Pebblebrook HS in Mableton, Ga. … The No. 19 outside linebacker in the nation by ESPN and the No. 17 prospect in Georgia … Rated as the No. 51 outside linebacker in the nation by … One of the top-60 prospects in Georgia by 24/7 Sports … Coached by Randall Smith … Named is pronounced “kah-LEED.”

T.J. Jones, OL, 6-6, 290, Fr-HS, Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Myrtle Beach) – Offensive line prospect who projects as a tackle on the collegiate level … Played tackle at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) HS … Helped his team win at least 11 games every season … Myrtle Beach won the Class AAA state championship his junior year with a 14-1 record … State quarterfinalist as a senior with an 11-2 mark … 13-2 record and state runner-up his soph season … Rated the No. 23 prospect in South Carolina by 24/7 Sports and No. 28 in the state by … No. 34 in South Carolina by SuperPrep … One of the nation’s top-100 offensive tackles by 24/7 and … Coached by Mickey Wilson.

A.J. Legree, WR, 6-1, 178, Fr-HS, Fort White, Fla. (Fort White) – Gifted wide receiver combines pass-catching skills with the athletic ability of a state-champion high jumper … Played wide receiver and cornerback at Fort White (Fla.) HS … As a senior, caught 47 passes for 698 yards and 10 touchdowns … Made six interceptions on defense, returning two for touchdowns … First-team all-state in Class AAA by The Associated Press … Named the Area Player of the Year by the Gainesville Sun … Helped Fort White to an 8-4 record and second round of the state playoffs … Turned in a breakout performance in the Florida Athletic Coaches Association North-South All-Star Game … Was named the No. 2 prospect in the game by and the “Sleeper of the Night” by … Coached by Demetric Jackson … Won the state high-jump championship as a junior with a leap of six feet, 10 inches.

Dyshawn Mobley, RB, 5-11, 205, Fr-HS, Powell, Tenn. (Powell) – Set Tennessee single-season rushing records with 3,068 yards and 44 touchdowns as a senior … Averaged 12.2 yards per carry … Led Powell (Tenn.) to a 14-1 record, reaching the state championship game in Class AAAAA … Named to the all-state “Dream Team,” covering all classifications, selected by the Nashville Tennesseean … First-team all-state by The Associated Press … Career totals feature 5,849 rushing yards, averaging more than 10 yards per carry, and 76 touchdowns … Three-year all-district choice … Helped Powell to an 11-1 mark and second round of the state playoffs as a junior … Also excelled as a linebacker on defense … Rushed for a record 118 yards in the Tennessee East West All-Star Game and was named the East Offensive Most Valuable Player … Coached by Matt Lowe … Name is pronounced “DAY-shawn MOBE-lee.”

Zach Myers, OL, 6-3, 285, Fr-HS, Miamisburg, Ohio (Miamisburg) – Combines good athletic ability with offensive line skills … Played offensive guard at Miamisburg (Ohio) HS … Could become a center as a collegian … Rated as the No. 52 offensive guard in the nation by … Also the No. 79 guard by 24/7 Sports and the No. 85 guard by … One of the top 60 prospects in the talent-rich state of Ohio by Rivals … Named second-team All-Southwest Ohio … Coached by Tim Lewis … Son of Brad Myers, an offensive lineman at UK from 1984-87 … Brad played one year with Joker Phillips (1984) and blocked for three of the top rushers in Kentucky history – George Adams, Mark Higgs and Marc Logan.

Langston Newton, DL, 6-4, 254, Fr-HS, Carmel, Ind. (Carmel) –First-team all-state as a senior at Carmel (Ind.) HS … Helped lead Carmel to a 14-1 record and state championship in Class AAAAA … A disruptive presence in the defensive line, combining good size, strength and athletic ability … Projected as an end in the collegiate ranks … The No. 6 prospect in Indiana and the No. 28 strongside defensive end in the nation by 24/7 Sports … No. 8 in Indiana and the No. 40 strongside end nationally by … Rated as the No. 69 overall prospect in the six-state Midwest area by SuperPrep … Helped Carmel to the state finals his soph season … Coached by Kevin Wright … Also outstanding in track and field, as he had full scholarship offers in that sport from nationally prominent schools … Competes in the shot put and discus throw, events that put a premium on quickness and explosion as well as strength … Brother of current Kentucky quarterback Morgan Newton.

Cody Quinn, DB, 5-10, 163, Fr-HS, Middletown, Ohio (Middletown) – Brings outstanding speed to the cornerback position, having run the 40-yard dash under 4.5 seconds … Helped Middletown (Ohio) HS to three-consecutive 10-win seasons and berths in the state playoffs … Third-team All-Ohio by The Associated Press as a senior … Intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and had 10 pass breakups … His speed also indicated by the fact that he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns as a junior … The No. 63 prospect in Ohio by ESPN and also the nation’s No. 68 cornerback … The No. 102 prospect in the six-state Midwest area by SuperPrep … Coached by Troy Everhart.

Jonathan Reed, DB, 5-9, 185, Fr-HS, Indianapolis, Ind. (Pike) – Swift cornerback has been timed as low as 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash … Played at Pike HS in Indianapolis, Ind. … Helped Pike to a state playoff berth each season … Runner-up in the state sectional as a junior with a 9-3 record … One of the top-10 prospects in Indiana by ESPN … Also the nation’s No. 44 cornerback prospect by ESPN … Named to the juniors-only all-state team in 2010 by the Indiana Football Coaches Association … Coached by Derek Moyers.

DeMarcus Sweat, WR, 6-1, 192, Fr-HS, Lithonia, Ga. (Stephenson) – Combines good size with explosive ability … Has good height for a receiver … Big-play potential shown by his three punt return touchdowns and three kickoff return touchdowns during his senior season at Stephenson HS in Stone Mountain, Ga. … Has been timed as fast as 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash … One of the nation’s top-100 wide receivers by ESPN … One of top-80 prospects in Georgia by ESPN and 24/7 Sports … Team posted a 9-2 record each of his last two seasons at Stephenson … Coached at Stephenson by Ron Gartrell … Teammate of current UK signee Shawn Blaylock … Will join former Stephenson products Jabari Johnson, Raymond Sanders and Ronnie Shields at UK.

Jordan Swindle, OL, 6-7, 310, Fr-HS, St. Johns, Fla. (Creekside) – Second-team all-state as a senior in Florida Class AAAAA by The Associated Press … Big offensive line prospect … His height and long reach are ideal for pass protection … Played at Creekside HS in St. Johns, Fla. … Helped lead Creekside to an 8-4 record as a senior and the first state playoff win in school history … Named All-First Coast (all-area) by the Florida Times-Union … Also named to the Florida Times-Union “Super 24” list of top area prospects … One of the nation’s top-100 offensive tackles as evaluated by ESPN … Coached by Greg Stanton.

Justin Taylor, RB, 5-10, 200, Fr-HS, Atlanta, Ga. (North Atlanta) – Projected as one of the South’s top running backs heading into his senior season … Committed to Alabama prior to his senior year at North Atlanta HS but incurred a knee injury in September … Decided to re-open his recruitment after Alabama asked him to grayshirt … Knee rehabilitation is going well and is expected to be ready to compete when practice begins in August … Rushed for approximately 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior at Washington HS in Atlanta … Named All-Atlanta as a junior … One of the nation’s top-40 running backs by ESPN and 24/7 Sports … Coached by Stanley Pritchett.

Kadeem “Pancho” Thomas, LB, 6-0, 225, Fr-HS, Tallahassee, Fla. (Godby) – A tackling machine at Godby HS in Tallahassee, Fla. … Racked up 142 tackles as a senior … Helped team to a 9-3 record and a spot in the second round of the state playoffs … Totaled 143 stops as a junior, ranking sixth in the state in tackles, and was named the Area Defensive Player of the Year by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club … One of the nation’s top 40 inside linebackers by, 24/ 7 Sports and ESPN … Played for the winning North team in the Florida North-South All-Star Game sponsored by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association … Coached by Ronnie Cottrell … Name is pronounced “kah-DEEM.”

Fred Tiller, DB, 6-0, 180, Fr-HS, Homerville, Ga. (Clinch County) – Outstanding athlete could play either side of the ball in college … Standout wide receiver and cornerback at Clinch County (Ga.) HS … First-team all-state by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Georgia Sports Writers Association as a senior … Helped Clinch to a perfect 15-0 record and Class A state championship as a junior … Caught 31 passes for 736 yards and nine touchdowns during that junior year, along with 65 tackles and five interceptions on defense … Rated the No. 45 athlete in the nation by … Coached by Jim Dickerson.

Jon Toth, OL, 6-5, 290, Fr-HS, Indianapolis, Ind. (Brebeuf Jesuit) – Big offensive lineman who also is noted for his athleticism … Could be slotted as a guard or tackle on the collegiate level … Played at Brebeuf Jesuit in Indianapolis, Ind. … Helped Brebeuf advance to the state playoffs each year he was on the varsity … Ranked as the No. 11 player in Indiana and the No. 33 offensive guard in the nation by 24/7 Sports … Rated the nation’s No. 60 offensive tackle by … Coached by Ryan Gallogly … Name is pronounced “TOETH” with a long “o” sound.

Patrick Towles, QB, 6-5, 242, Fr-HS, Ft. Thomas, Ky. (Highlands) – Named to the Parade magazine All- America team … “Mr. Football” for the Commonwealth of Kentucky … Gatorade Player of the Year in Kentucky … Won the Paul Hornung Award as the Kentucky Player of the Year … Big, strong-armed quarterback who also has notable running ability … Led Highlands HS to three consecutive state championships as the starting quarterback, Class AAAA as a senior and Class AAAAA as a sophomore and junior … Team compiled a three-year record of 44-1, including 38-1 with Towles as the starter … As a senior completed 171 of 279 passes (61.3 percent) for 3,820 yards with 42 touchdowns and only one interception … Also rushed for 589 yards and 15 TDs … Career totals feature 7,429 passing yards and 73 touchdown passes while rushing for 1,718 yards and 38 TDs … The No. 1 prospect in Kentucky and one of the top-10 pro-style quarterbacks in the country by and 24/7 Sports … Athleticism is such that ESPN rates his college position as “athlete” instead of quarterback … Coached by Dale Mueller … Highlands’ quarterbacks coach was former UK QB Jared Lorenzen … Strong arms are in Towles’ heritage as he is the grandson of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning … Last name is pronounced “TOLES.”

Jordan Watson, OL, 6-4, 315, Fr-HS, Fayetteville, Ga. (Whitewater) – Well-regarded offensive lineman … The No. 39 offensive guard in the nation by … No. 37 nationally by 24/7 Sports … Rated as the No. 31 prospect in Georgia by SuperPrep … Earned first-team all-state honors by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution … Played at Whitewater HS in Fayetteville, Ga., and blocked for current Wildcat Josh Clemons … Earned a spot in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association North-South All- Star Classic … Coached by Amos McCreary.

Jalen Whitlow, QB/ATH, 6-2, 210, Fr-HS, Prattville, Ala. (Prattville) – Exciting athlete with multiple skills … Helped Prattville (Ala.) HS to the Class AAAAAA state championship and a top-25 national ranking … Split time at quarterback and wide receiver … Earned honorable-mention all-state honors even though he wasn’t the team’s full-time quarterback … Listed as the nation’s No. 12 dual- threat QB and the No. 20 prospect in Alabama by 24/7 Sports … The No. 32 prospect in Alabama by … Coached by Jamey Dubose.

Sterling Wright, DB, 5-11, 201, Fr-HS, Miami, Fla. (Coral Reef/North Carolina Tech) – Played prep school football at North Carolina Tech in Charlotte, the same school that produced current Wildcat Farrington Huguenin … Known as a hard hitter with good range … Coached at N.C. Tech by Tim Newman … Played his high school football at Coral Reef HS in Miami, Fla. … Helped team to a 6-4 record senior year … Totaled 55 tackles and caused eight fumbles … Coached at Coral Reef by Chevas Clements.

Alabama loses star safety/ace returner Eddie Jackson to broken leg

Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson (4) returns a punt for a 79-yard touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Knoxville, Tenn. Alabama won 49-10. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
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Alabama’s win over Texas A&M came at a steep cost to both its defense and special teams.

Early in the fourth quarter of the 33-14 win, Eddie Jackson sustained an injury to his left leg and did not return.  Following the game, head coach Nick Saban confirmed that Jackson had suffered a broken leg.

As a result, both the senior’s season and his career have come to an abrupt end.

“Eddie was a fantastic player for us and a great leader,” the coach said in quotes distributed by the school. “I think he was an All-American player as a safety, at least in my book. We’re certainly going to miss him, but what a great player, what a great competitor, and what a great guy to have in this program for the time he’s been here.

“He’s done a fantastic job for us and I’m just sick for him and his family. I hate it that it’s one of the things about sports, all sports, and that we have to deal with sometimes as injuries. It’s unfortunate, especially when it happens to a great guy and a very, very good player. We’re certainly going to miss him.”

The loss of Jackson, who some consider the heart and soul of a very talented Tide defense, is a huge one.

Jackson had started the last 23 games at safety after starting 14 games at cornerback his first two seasons with the Tide.  The past two seasons, Jackson has returned three interceptions for touchdowns.  He’s also one of the best punt returners in the nation, having returned two for touchdowns this season.

Entering the 2016 season, Jackson was widely viewed as a likely first- or second-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Recent retiree Joe Williams runs wild in Utah’s win over UCLA

Utah running back Joe Williams, center, runs for a touchdown as UCLA defensive lineman Takkarist McKinley, left, linebacker Jayon Brown, second from left, and defensive back Jaleel Wadood, right, give chase along with Utah offensive tackle Sam Tevi during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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Apparently the grass can indeed be greener on the other side of retirement.

Two games into the 2016 season, Joe Williams announced his retirement from the sport because of unspecified health issues.  Less than four weeks later, the senior running back returned to a Utah squad just last week because of a backfield decimated by injury.

In his first game post-retirement, Williams ran for 179 yards in a win over Oregon State last Saturday.  A week later, Williams trumped that effort.

In the Week 8 win over UCLA, Williams ran for a career-high 332 yards and four touchdowns as Utah kept pace with Colorado in the Pac-12 South.  Williams had entered his brief retirement with 549 career rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns; the past two games, the senior has totaled 511 yards and five touchdowns.

Not surprisingly, Williams’ Week 8 performance set a couple of school records.

The win allowed Utah to keep pace with Colorado, with both the Utes and Buffaloes, thanks to a 10-5 win over Stanford, sitting at 4-1 in Pac-12 South play. Those two teams will meet in the regular-season finale in a game that could very well determine which team represents the division in the conference championship game.

USC, which handed Colorado its lone league loss, could also be factor in the divisional race as they sit at 3-2 on a bye this weekend.

Auburn running all over and around Arkansas, 28-3

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 22: A young fan of the Auburn Tigers cheers as the team takes the field before the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
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It took one play for Auburn to put some points on the scoreboard, and the Tigers have yet to look back on Arkansas. Auburn holds a decisive 28-3 lead on the Razorbacks at the half. Auburn has run for 268 yards to just 26 yards on the ground by Arkansas.

Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen left the game in the first half with an apparent knee injury. He was helped off the field and replaced with redshirt freshman Ty Storey. Allen did return to the game.

Eli Stove (85 yards) took off for a 78-yard touchdown run on the first offensive play Auburn got to run after Arkansas was forced to punt on the game’s opening possession. Auburn’s second touchdown drive took a little longer (10-plays, 91 yards). Kamryn Petway (117 yards) finished off the drive with a nine-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead. Arkansas fumbled away the ensuing possession after just three plays, and Auburn capitalized with a Stanton Truitt touchdown run from 20 yards out.

It’s just been a mess of a first half by Arkansas, and the bad news is there is a second half to play.

No. 1 Alabama roars back in the second half to beat No. 6 Texas A&M

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 22:  Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass against the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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No. 1 Alabama hit Texas A&M in the mouth and the sixth-ranked Aggies responded to take a second half lead on Saturday. Then Alabama hit them again.

And again. And again. And probably another time for good measure.

The Crimson Tide stormed back from a one point second half deficit to throttle yet another top 25 opponent on Saturday, reaffirming their status as the team to beat for the national title with an impressive 33-14 home win.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts started off a little slow and had a handful of freshman mistakes (two picks, one on a Hail Mary) but turned things up after halftime to finish with 166 yards passing and two touchdowns while rushing for another 91 yards and a score. Tight end O.J. Howard became a big part of the Tide’s aerial attack and wound up with a team-leading 70 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore Damien Harris chipped in with 128 yards on the ground with an impressive 7.5 yards a carry.

Texas A&M signal-caller Trevor Knight couldn’t quite get his second straight win over Alabama, but did throw for two touchdowns to temporarily stun Bryant Denny Stadium with a brief 14-13 Aggies lead coming out of the locker room at halftime.

Defensive end Jonathan Allen completely turned the game around just before the end of the third quarter however when he scooped and scored on a 30 yard fumble return to put Alabama up by two scores. It was the future first rounder’s second time crossing the goal line this season, the ninth defensive touchdown of the year for the Tide and the 10th straight game in which the team has scored a non-offensive touchdown.

If there was one negative for Alabama to emerge from the contest in the second half it was that safety Eddie Jackson had to be carted off early in the fourth quarter with a lower leg injury. He was hurt on a punt return that later setup another touchdown and comes at the one spot where the Tide, all things being relative, is a little thin at.

It probably won’t mean much in the long run given how good Alabama looked down the stretch in winning their 20th straight game. They’ll head into their bye week undefeated and looking to get a little rest before traveling to Baton Rouge to play rival LSU. Texas A&M probably won’t drop too much in the polls with their first loss of the season and, while they are a long shot to win the SEC West, remain in line to make it to a New Year’s Six bowl game.