The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide has dominated the “Third Saturday in October” rivalry with the Tennessee Volunteers over recent years, winning the previous six meetings. Things didn’t change much this week, as Alabama completely dominated the overmatched Vols in a resounding 45-10 victory.
Both the Alabama offense and defense continue to dominate each week. Tennessee was a confident and fired up team but Alabama stepped on their head quickly.
Christion Jones set up the Alabama offense near midfield with an electric kickoff return, and it took just three plays for Amari Cooper to turn a screen play into a 54-yard touchdown. The Alabama offense then scored on its next three drives with a McCarron pass to Kevin Norwood and two runs by T.J. Yeldon. The only drive on which Alabama’s offense didn’t score in the first half was a fumble by Kenyan Drake on the Tennessee one-yard line.
Alabama took its foot off the throttle in the second half, but Yeldon managed another scoring run and McCarron had another long TD pass to Cooper called back on a bogus offensive pass interference call. Cooper continues to get more and more comfortable as he gets healthier and Kevin Norwood continues to be one of the most reliable receivers on the team. His leaping catch in the third quarter was one for the highlight reel.
Alabama’s offense rolled up 479 yards of total offense, and Tennessee’s offense did manage 322 total yards, but much of that came in the second half as Alabama’s backups began to come into the game. The only positive drive Tennessee had in the first half was snuffed out by Landon Collins, who snatched a Justin Worley pass out of the air and returned it 89 yards for a score. Deion Belue also picked off the Tennessee QB as well.
It wasn’t all roses, as the Alabama defense did allow a couple of big plays in the game, including a 30+ yard run to open the second half and the backup defense allowed the first TD against the Alabama defense since the Kentucky game.
Kenyan Drake lost a fumble for the second time this year, and this time it came on the one-yard line. His first fumble, against Kentucky, came in the red zone as well. Both of T.J. Yeldon’s fumbles this year have come in the red zone as well. This is something that Drake really needs to get a handle on. In a closer game it could really become a problem. Both times he’s fumbled it has come on plays where he’s attempting to make extra yardage on a run and both times it was while he was switching hands with the ball.
I don’t typically get down on the referees much. One of the more annoying things about football fans is the constant complaining about the referees, but there were some pretty horrendous penalties in this game.
AJ McCarron: 19-27, 275 yards, 2 TD
Blake Sims: 0-1, 0 yards
Kenyan Drake: 14 carries, 89 yards
TJ Yeldon: 15 carries, 72 yards, 3 TD
Christion Jones: 1 carry, 20 yards
Derrick Henry: 3 carries, 20 yards
Dee Hart: 2 carries, 5 yards
AJ McCarron: 1 carry, 1 yard
Kevin Norwood: 6 catches, 112 yards, 1 TD
Amari Cooper: 5 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD
TJ Yeldon: 3 catches, 29 yards
DeAndrew White: 2 catches, 29 yards
Kenyan Drake: 1 catch, 15 yards
Kenny Bell: 1 catch, 9 yards
Christion Jones: 1 catch, 6 yards
Landon Collins: 6 tackles, 1 INT, 89 yards, 1 TD, 1 FF
A’Shawn Robinson: 6 tackles, 2 quarterback hurries
Trey DePriest: 5 tackles
Cyrus Jones: 4 tackles, 2 pass breakups
Denzel Devall: 4 tackles, 1 pass breakup
Dillon Lee: 3 tackles
Jonathan Allen: 3 tackles
Ed Stinson: 3 tackles
Tana Patrick: 3 tackles
HaHa Clinton-Dix: 2 tacles, 1 pass breakup
Deion Belue: 2 tackles, 1 INT, 28 yards
Jarrick Williams: 2 tackles
Jeoffrey Pagan: 2 tackles, 1 quarterback hurry
Reuben Foster: 2 tackles
Dee Liner: 2 tackles
Adrian Hubbard: 2 tackles, 1 quarterback hurry
Eddie Jackson: 1 tackle
CJ Mosley: 1 tackle, 1.0 tackle for loss
Dee Hart: 1 tackle
Korren Kirven: 1 tackle
Adam Griffth: 1 tackle
Reggie Ragland: 1 tackle
John Fulton: 1 pass breakup
Adam Griffith: 1/1 FGs (20 yards), 1/1 XPs
Cade Foster: 5/5 XPs
Christion Jones: 2 kickoff returns, 106 yards; 2 punt returns, 19 yards
Brian Vogler: 1 kickoff return, 7 yards
Cody Mandell: 2 punts, 40.0 yards per punt, long: 42 yards, 1 inside the 20