Saturday marked the 100th time that the Tennessee Volunteers (3-4, 0-4 SEC) and the Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) have faced off on the field, and it turned out as many had expected, utter domination. Head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide throttle Butch Jones and the Vols 45-7.
The First half of play was dominated by the Alabama offense exponentially. The tide offense scored on three of their first five drives, two of which were scored by Doak Walker Award hopeful running back Bo Scarbrough. The Tennessee offense was held scoreless in the first half, with a few promising drives that came up short.
As the second half came around, Alabama did not let off the pedal. They came out and immediately scored on their first drive out. Tennessee then showed their first sign of life by grabbing a pick-six on the Tide’s second drive, but that was about all the action the Vols could muster.
The last two touchdowns were conducted by backup quarterback Tau Tagovailoa out of Hawaii, as he ran for a 23-yard score and he completed a pass to Henry Ruggs III for 60 yards for another.
Even from the beginning of the contest, Alabama capitalized early and made very few mistakes on both sides of the ball. The Crimson Tide defense held the Vols to five punts during the first half, while the Alabama offense scored 21 points. The offense was lead by quarterback Jalen Hurts and the tailback tandem of Scarbrough and Damien Harris. Hurts was 13-of-21 with 198 yards and one touchdown, while Harris and Scarbrough collectively had 90 yards with three touchdowns on the Game.
The Crimson Tide Defense had quite the day as they foiled almost every attempt made by the Vols offense. Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano made a few quality plays throughout the game, but his momentum was brought to a halt after he was sacked for a total of four times. He never seemed to recover and on his second to last drive of the game he threw an interception on the Alabama five yard line. Plays like this could have decreased the deficit slightly, but there really wasn’t much for the orange-and-white to work with by the end of the game.
Tennessee’s only touchdown was created by Daniel Bituli as he grabbed a pick-six from Tagovailoa. The Vols defense really put up a good fight against the Tide’s elite offense. However, by the end of the game, even the Alabama second team proved to be too much for the Vols defense. Bituli scored the first touchdown for the Vols since the second quarter of the UMass game, the offense still remains scoreless since then.
With the Crimson Tide’s 45-7 win, they increase the win streak over Tennessee to 11 games, which ties the longest streak in the rivalry of all-time. As a whole, this game cemented Alabama as dominant force and Tennessee as a declining force in the SEC. The Crimson Tide continue to trend upward as the Volunteers descend deeper into turmoil. Tennessee looks to learn from their mistakes in Tuscaloosa and turn their season around when they face off against the Kentucky Wildcats next Saturday in Lexington at 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network.
Edited by Seth Raborn
Featured image courtesy of UT Sports