Alabama Football reasserted its dominance in the Third Saturday in October rivalry with Tennessee, but it wasn’t due to a complete offensive performance.
The Bama offense has been inconsistent all year, but was anemic to an unprecedented degree in the first half against Tennessee.
With the exception of a 9-play, 59-yard drive that resulted in a second quarter touchdown, the Tide mustered just 79 yards on 22 first half plays. Its five remaining first half drives resulted in three punts and two Jalen Milroe turnovers, including a strip sack and an interception in the end zone.
Despite the uninspiring effort by the offense, the Bama defense made just enough plays to keep the Tide in the game. Still, it faced a daunting 20-7 deficit heading into the locker room.
When Alabama Football took the field in the second half, the offense looked like a completely different unit from the first snap. An explosive run by Jase McClellan quickly moved the Tide into plus-territory, and was immediately followed by a 46-yard vertical shot from Jalen Milroe to Isaiah Bond for a momentum-shifting touchdown.
From there, the offense rolled to four consecutive scoring drives to give the home team a 27-20 lead. Bama’s first four possessions of the second half netted 224 yards on 28 plays, an average of 8.0 yards per play.
The offense was almost unrecognizable from the product Bama put on the field for the first 30 minutes of the game. Fortunately, one good half of football was more than enough to take down the Volunteers in Tuscaloosa.