TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It was the 100th meeting of the Third Saturday in October rivalry, but just the 12the time Alabama had hosted Tennessee at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Overall, Alabama leads the series 53-38-7, having won 11 straight with Saturday’s 45-7 victory.
Here’s some of what Nick Saban said during his postgame press conference:
• Really pleased with the effort in the second half. Except for a couple of draws did a good job stopping the run. This is a big game for us. I’m excited, pleased that we won.
• Little sluggish in the first half, which carried over from practice this week.
• Tua Tagovailoa did a nice job bouncing back following the pick-six, got some valuable experience.
• A lot of positive things heading into the bye week. Guys who are a little beat up will get some extra time to recover.
• To have balance on offense is really, really important. They were basically making it so we had to try and throw. Jalen Hurts did a nice job. The passing plays in the second half were a bit of a reflection of opening things up.
• It was exciting to see our players not want them to score with the late goal-line stand. It was exciting and shows what this rivalry means to people.
• Tua apologized to the coaches for the pick. He even makes me more polite.
• Senior linebacker Rashaan Evans’ injury early on was a shoulder stinger. Played well.
• On 4th and 1 at the goal-line plays, I don’t think we’ve ever not gone for it.
• Through eight games, I think the toughest games that we have, and the toughest teams we’ll see we have ahead of us. We have to play better and we’re going to be challenged a lot more. I’m not satisfied and I don’t think anyone should be.
• On sluggish start: External factors were the primarily cause. We had to have a Come-to-Jesus meeting. If we’re going to accomplish the goals that we have, everyone has to be committed to doing the best they can. If I could tell you why we didn’t practice well I’d probably have a better job than the one I have, and I like my job. I know one thing, we created tension over it and it got their attention.