Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
Alabama coach Nick Saban said Tua Tagovailoa apologized for his interception.

Alabama football: Tua Tagovailoa apologizes to Nick Saban for interception against Tennessee

Matt Speakman

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer JammerSEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every sport on campus.

Making noise

Late in the game, Tennessee had the ball inside Alabama’s 5-yard line. Tennessee running back John Kelly scored a 3-yard touchdown, but the call was overturned when officials ruled he was stopped inside the 1-yard line. The next play, Tennessee backed up to the 5 on a false-start penalty. Two plays later, linebacker Mack Wilson intercepted Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano. The crowd went crazy and cigar smoke started to fill the air.

“It was great. I think the fans really had a lot to do with it,” Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said. “Obviously, they contributed to the [false start] penalty when they had the ball inside the 1.”

Allowing a touchdown would not have had an impact on the outcome of the game, but Alabama players wanted the stop for pride’s sake. Linebacker Rashaan Evans said the players thought back to the Clemson loss during the goal-line stand, motivating them to get the stop.

In other headlines…

  • Alabama is a unanimous No. 1 in both the Amway Coaches Poll and the AP poll.
  • CBS announcer Gary Danielson accidentally revealed that Alabama vs. LSU will be in primetime on CBS.
  • Penn State fans cheered “We want Bama” during the team’s 42-13 win over Michigan, and Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman shared some words of wisdom for them.
  • Outkick the Coverage writer Clay Travis said the Iron Bowl will be a big challenge for Alabama.
  • Our own Marq Burnett gave good grades nearly across the board for Alabama, but said the Tide need to improve in one area.
  • How did Tennessee react to the loss? Here is what Butch Jones’ team said after the game.
  • College football analyst Danny Kanell put Alabama No. 1 this week, but said the Crimson Tide has the worst resume.
  • Alabama kicker Andy Pappanastos posted a picture with former Alabama quarterback Joe Namath.
  • SEC Network released a clever Stranger Things spoof after Alabama’s win over Tennessee.

Tua Tagovailoa time

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa saw significant action in Alabama’s 38-point win over Tennessee. Tagovailoa went 9 for 12 for 134 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. His lone interception gave Tennessee its first touchdown since the Volunteers played UMass on Sept. 23. After the pick-6, Saban said Tagovailoa apologized for the play.

Saban continued to discuss Tagovailoa’s response to the interception. He said that Tagovailoa is helping him become more polite. Later in the game, Tagovailoa broke a 23-yard touchdown run that featured a nasty juke.

Aggressive defense

Alabama’s defense went after Guarantano all game. The Crimson Tide had 4 sacks, 9 tackles for loss and 8 quarterback hurries. Alabama held Tennessee to just 108 yards overall, and 65 of those came from Kelly. Alabama’s big area of success came from designed quarterback blitzes. Cornerback Levi Wallace had 2 sacks off of those plays.

“It’s exciting,” Wallace said of blitzing. “Me and [Anthony Averett], we always want corner blitzes. It’s always fun blitzing. We called a couple today, and they worked out for us.”

Alabama’s defense is now No. 1 in total defense and in rushing defense. The Crimson Tide also rank as the No. 10 passing defense in the country. Alabama’s defense has been dominant and a big key to the team’s success this season. Even with that success, our own Christopher Walsh thinks Alabama’s passing game needs to match the defense’s intensity.

Built by Bama

Former Alabama golfer Justin Thomas won yet another tournament this weekend. Thomas finished atop the leaderboard for the CJ Cup, beating Marc Leishman in a playoff.

Around the Capstone

  • Alabama soccer defeated Missouri, 3-2, in overtime.
  • Alabama volleyball defeated South Carolina in 5 sets.
  • Alabama tennis athletes Thibault Cancel and Alexey Nesterov advanced to the doubles semifinal at ITA Southern Regionals.

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