After a shaky first half, the defense for Alabama Football reaffirmed itself as one of the nation’s top units in a win over Tennessee. Bama shut the Volunteers out after halftime en route to a decisive 34-20 victory.
The defense even got on the board with a scoop-and-score touchdown to put the nail in Tennessee’s proverbial coffin, effectively outscoring the UT offense 7-0 by itself in the second half.
Alabama Football: A slow start defensively
Tennessee jumped out to a 13-0 first quarter lead after scoring on three of its first four possessions, and eventually seized a 20-7 halftime lead.
The Tide defense looked out of sorts in the first half, giving up three long scoring drives of 75, 79, and 80 yards. This was an uncharacteristic half on the part of the defense, but it still made some critical stops within this stretch.
Among them included a 4th & 1 stop in Tennessee territory, and limiting the Vols to just a field goal after a Jalen Milroe fumble gave them the ball on the Alabama 23.
In the second half, the defense progressed from capitalistic to dominant. The Volunteers seven second half possessions produced just 109 total yards on 33 plays.
Its first five drives of the half yielded 33 yards on 1.8 yards per play, by which point the game was virtually over. Those possessions ended in a trio of three-and-outs, another turnover on downs on a 4th and short, and a strip sack returned for a touchdown.
For a half, at least, this looked like the Bama defense of old.