TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama football won its 11th consecutive game over Tennessee with a dominant performance on Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) pounded the Volunteers 45-7 in a contest that was never close.
Alabama’s offense came out pretty sluggish. Two of the Crimson Tide’s first three drives ended in punts as the offense couldn’t find a rhythm. Things turned around, however, late in the second quarter.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts led the Crimson Tide on three straight scoring drives, including one on the opening drive of the second half before Hurts’ day was done.
Hurts threw for 198 yards and a touchdown in 2.5 quarters of work. Backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa kept the offense rolling for the most part. After an interception that led to Tennessee’s lone score of the game, Tagovailoa led three scoring drives. Tagovailoa ran for a score and threw for another during his time in.
Running back Bo Scarbrough scored 2 touchdowns. Damien Harris led the team in rushing with 72 yards and a score.
If not for the sluggish start, Alabama would’ve received an ‘A’ because the final offensive numbers are staggering. Alabama accumulated 604 yards of offense, outgaining Tennessee by nearly 500 yards (108).
Alabama averaged 7 yards per play, and only had 1 turnover on offense.
How do you look at that defense and give anything other than an A? Tennessee could do nothing.
Even when Alabama’s offense was punting and the game was only 7-0, there was never a moment when anyone felt Tennessee had a legitimate chance to win.
The Crimson Tide’s defense held Tennessee to 2.3 yards per play.
Alabama had 4 sacks and forced 1 turnover on a goal-line interception. Linebacker Rashaan Evans was all over the field, finishing with 6 tackles, 1 sack and 2 tackles for loss.
Defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs continued his strong play in the absence of Da’Shawn Hand. Buggs led the team with 7 total tackles.
The bye week comes at a perfect time for Alabama’s defense. A lot of guys are banged up and need the time to heal.
Special teams: C
Alabama’s special teams muffed another punt which nearly led to a Tennessee touchdown, but the Tide’s defense and crowd stood strong.
This time it was Xavian Marks who muffed the punt. Alabama will have the bye week to figure out what it wants to do on punt returns. Last thing the Crimson Tide want is to have one of those mishaps actually cost the team points.
Heading into the matchup, Alabama was as high as a 37-point favorite in some places, and they still covered.
Alabama is slowly beating teams into submission at this point. The November schedule will provide some challenges, but you can’t objectively look at Alabama’s schedule and find a loss.
We could be looking at another undefeated regular season for the Crimson Tide.