The Alabama Football win over Tennessee was important. Important not just for the Crimson Tide’s 2023 goals, but also for the Alabama Football program.
A second straight loss to the Vols would have been worse than the Tide dropping to 6-2 and out of Playoff contention. It would have been proof to many that Nick Saban’s unapparelled Crimson Tide run was indeed past.
Alabama won for many reasons. Six key game situations are highlighted below. Without success in those situations, Tennessee might have become the victor. But there were many additional reasons why the Tide won. Not the least was Nick Saban, Kevin Steele and Tommy Rees made adjustments that Josh Heupel and his staff could not handle.
What allowed those adjustments to be pivotal were two Tennessee, first-half red zone possessions that failed to score touchdowns. At 2:40 of the first quarter, the Vols had a first and goal at the Tide five. In three plays the Vols produced minus 1-yard and settled for a field goal. After a turnover, the Vols started another drive at the Tide 23-yard line. They advanced to a 1st-and-goal at the nine. In three plays the Vols gained one yard and again settled for a field goal.
Alabama Football Six Game-Changing Situations
- In the second quarter, after a Milroe to Burton pass cut the Tennessee lead to 13-7, a bold 4th and one call by Josh Heupel resulted in a Joe Milton run being stuffed by the Crimson Tide.
- Trailing 20-7 at the start of the 2nd half, it took only two plays to put the Tide back in the game. The first was a 29-yard run by Jase McClellan, followed by a 46-yard Milroe to Isaiah Bond touchdown pass.
- After Will Reichard made a 42-yard field goal to cut the lead to 20-17, the Tide defense stood tall again. On another 4th and one, Heupel tried Vol running back Dylan Sampson. As earlier in the game, the Alabama defense stuffed it.
- On 3rd and 10, with 12:50 left in the game, Jalen Milroe ran for 15 yards. The first down kept the drive alive leading to points and eating up clock.
- With 8:21 left in the game, Will Reichard nailed a 50-yard field goal to push the Alabama lead to 27-20.
- On the next Tennessee possession, Chris Braswell knocked the ball loose from Joe Milton. Jihaad Campbell scooped up the fumble and scored the Tide’s insurance touchdown.
Note: Game stats from rolltide.com
Not included in the bullet list but integral to the Crimson Tide victory is after committing 17 penalties against the Vols last season, Alabama had one penalty for five yards on Saturday.