TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Kentucky entered the game ranked No. 126 in the country in turnovers, and holding onto the football was a problem again Saturday night against Alabama.
Alabama collected two of junior QB Stephen Johnson’s three fumbles, taking one back for a 55-yard scoop and score.
Since taking over for the injured Drew Barker, Johnson has flashed an ability to extend plays with his legs, but it got him in trouble against the Crimson Tide.
“I was trying to make something happen, didn’t hold the ball like I should’ve,” Johnson said. “It ended up coming out those three times, actually, so that’s something I need to work on for sure this upcoming week.”
— BamaVine (@BamaVine) October 2, 2016
As offensive coordinator Eddie Gran put it, the offense has to “reserve the right to punt.”
Ball security was one problem the Wildcats guarded against during their week of preparation for the Crimson Tide. Johnson ran through the blaster, a piece of equipment meant to knock the ball loose, and coaches preached ball security to him.
“We had a few plays where he needs to move around the pocket and step up in there and throw the football,” coach Mark Stoops said after the loss. “When it’s not there, he definitely has to eat it and try to get a few yards and get down.”
Kentucky now has 14 turnovers through five games.
“Everything’s about the ball,” Gran said.