There wasn’t a second-half comeback in store from Tennessee this week.
In fact, the Vols couldn’t offer much of anything on offense, mustering just 163 yards against one of the nation’s top defenses.
The Crimson Tide defense, led by linebackers Tim Williams and Reuben Foster, recorded 10 tackles for loss and held Tennessee to 32 rushing yards. Jalen Hurd, the Vols’ leading rusher had just 33 yards on 12 carries.
Tennessee’s lone touchdown came after Derek Barnett sacked Alabama freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts, who fumbled at his own eleven yard line. Quay Picou recovered the fumble, putting Tennessee in prime position to score.
The Vols did just that by relying on Alvin Kamara, who rushed twice for the touchdown with 9:41 remaining in the first half.
The rest of the game was all Alabama.
The Crimson Tide rushed for 438 yards on the ground, the most in a single game since 1986.
Alabama opened the scoring with a 29-yard rush from ArDarius Stewart on a reverse pitch. After both teams traded three-and-outs, Ronnie Harrison intercepted Joshua Dobbs’ attempted screen pass and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter.
The Crimson Tide scored the only points of the second quarter when Hurts kept a fake handoff around the edge and darted 45 yards for a touchdown, giving the Tide a 21-7 lead going into halftime. Alabama held Tennessee to 41 total yards in the first half, accumulating 309 first-half yards of its own.
The Crimson Tide added two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter, both from Hurts, en route to breaking open a 35-10 lead. Hurts’ 132 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns were both career highs.
A 49-yard punt return from Eddie Jackson for touchdown gave Alabama its second non-offensive touchdown of the day to open the fourth quarter. Bo Scarbrough broke loose for an 85-yard rushing touchdown three minutes later to extend Alabama’s lead to 49-10 to end the scoring.
Edited by David Bradford
Featured image by Sumner Gilliam