Alabama head coach Nick Saban drew national attention this week when he berated the Alabama media for presumptively disrespecting WKU before the Sept. 8 matchup.
The final score may not show it, but he was right.
The Crimson Tide shutout WKU on Saturday afternoon 35-0, after the Hilltoppers gave up four turnovers without forcing Alabama to commit one.
Alabama scored 21 points off three of those WKU turnovers, on quick drives of one, two, and seven plays.
"In the past four years I've been here, that's been the case in every loss," senior tight end Jack Doyle said. "You just can't turn the ball over like that, no matter who you play."
Alabama scored two of its touchdowns off the WKU turnovers in the first half, leading by a score of 21-0 at halftime.
WKU started with the ball in the second half with a chance to gain some momentum back, but a Kawaun Jakes interception deep in WKU's own territory led to another quick Alabama score, putting the Crimson Tide up 28-0.
"We're a better football team than we were last year," said WKU head coach Willie Taggart. "And we're a better football team than we showed today."
"Turnovers were the big difference."
Despite the final score, there were several bright spots for the Hilltoppers.
Senior defensive end Quanterus Smith had three sacks against the No. 1 Crimson Tide, attributing his career high to studying Alabama's film with the WKU coaching staff.
As a team, WKU finished with six sacks total, and held Alabama to only 103 yards rushing on 31 attempts (a 3.3 yards per carry average for the Tide).
Senior quarterback Kawaun Jakes finished 20 for 31 passing for over 179 yards and one interception, a more than admirable performance against one of the best defenses in the country.
As a team, WKU gained 224 yards of total offense, compared to 328 for No. 1 Alabama.
Although still disappointed with the final score, senior offensive lineman Adam Smith agreed that the Hilltoppers left Bryant-Denny stadium on Saturday with some encouragement as they prepare for next week's matchup with Kentucky.
"I feel like we did some good things out there," Smith said. "We'll watch the film tomorrow and correct our mistakes."
Stay tuned tomorrow to InsideHilltopperSports for more coverage from WKU's 35-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama.