Vols take on top ranked Alabama down in Tuscaloosa

Lawrence Kim
October 22, 2017

For 25 minutes, Tennessee's defense was standing toe-to-toe with No. 1 Alabama. "It was a big stop, a lot of momentum, and we got the job done".

The touchdown was the first TD Tennessee scored since a second quarter touchdown against UMass on September 23.

Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC) added another touchdown after a Tennessee (3-4, 0-4) three-and-out to take a three-score lead into halftime - a drive also kept alive by a Kongbo personal foul.

A would-be fumble was overturned and No. 1 Alabama took advantage of a peculiar ruling to spark its offense and the Tide flexed their muscles in the second half to roll to a 45-7 win over Tennessee on Saturday.

Alabama's defense held Tennessee to a season-low in yardage, finishing with just 108 yards Saturday, including 64 rushing - 63 of which came on 12 carries from John Kelly.

"I know one thing, we created tension over it, and the tension got their attention". The 5-foot-11, 214-pound junior has served as Alabama's most productive back this season, an impressive feat given the loaded state of the Tide backfield. "We played a little sluggish in practice this week, which kind of carried over", Saban said.

The Crimson Tide controlled the second half in every aspect. Quarterback Jalen Hurts lead the Crimson Tide down the field and capped a eight-play, 76-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Irv Smith.

That would be the end of Hurts' night, though, as Alabama coaches put in freshman Tua Tagovailoa to close things out against the Vols' first-team defense. The Vols' offense hasn't scored a touchdown in its last 14 consecutive quarters dating back to a passing score just before halftime of a 17-13 win over MA on September 23.

Tennessee's lone score came courtesy of a mistake by Tagovailoa, who was picked off by Vols linebacker Daniel Bituli at the 3-yard line and returned 97 yards for a touchdown with 6:03 left in the third quarter.

"We bit ourselves in the butt sometimes in the first half", UT defensive back Rashaan Gaulden said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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