It was going to take a perfect game for Tennessee to compete Saturday in Tuscaloosa against No. 1 Alabama and the Vols’ performance was anything but perfect as the Crimson Tide dominated from start to finish in a 45-7 victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
In making his second career start, Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano was harassed all day by the Alabama defense. The freshman completed 9-of-16 passes for 44 yards and an interception and had negative-12 rushing yards. The Vols managed just 74 yards of offense while Alabama rolled up 601.
• Alabama scores on a 60-yard pass from Tagovailoa to Henrey Ruggs. Alabama 45, Tennessee 7 4:49
• Tagovailoa scores on a 23-yard run. Alabama 38, Tennessee 7 12:59
• Alabama kicker Andy Pappanastos makes a 25-yard field goal. Alabama 31, Tennessee 7 3:11
• Tennessee linebacker Daniel Bituli scores on a 97-yard interception return. Alabama 28, Tennessee 7 6:03
• Alabama inserts backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for Jalen Hurts at the 9:30 mark.
• Alabama goes up 28-0 on Irv Smith Jr.’s 14-yard TD reception, the first of his career. Tide went 76 yards on eight plays in 2:21.
• Two hands to face personal foul penalties on Vols defensive end Jonathan Kongbo have negated a turnover and third-and-11 situation, leading to two of the Tide’s three touchdowns.
• Alabama running back Damien Harris scores on an 11-yard run. Alabama 21, Tennessee 0 1:18
• Scarbrough scores his second touchdown from 1-yard out. Alabama’s second touchdown coming on fourth down, too. Alabama 14, Tennessee 0 4:48
• The Tennessee defense has allowed 97 total yards at the 9:23 mark.
• Key number for Tennessee is rushing yards – Vols must generate some run yardage to be any threat today.
• Tennessee defense forces first punt of the day, takes over at own 20.
• Trevor Daniel flips the field with a punt to Tide 2-yard line.
• Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough scored on a 1-yard run for the first score of the game. Alabama 7, Tennessee 0 8:21
• Tennessee opened the game with a 3-and-out on offense.
It’s the third Saturday in October and that means Tennessee against Alabama.
The Vols (3-3, 0-3 SEC) enters the game as a 36½-point underdog, thought to be biggest number the Vols have ever been on the wrong side of in program history.
Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano will make his second start. His first start came last week in the 15-9 loss to South Carolina.
Guarantano completed 11 of 18 passes for 133 yards.
One reason Tennessee’s coaching staff made the switch from Quinten Dormady to Guarantano was to spark the offense. The Vols have now gone 10 consecutive quarters without a touchdown.
John Kelly leads Tennessee with 552 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns while averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
This opportunity to turn the trend around won’t be easy. Alabama (7-0, 4-0) has outscored SEC opponents 193-39 in 4 games this season.
Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has thrown for 1,025 yards and 8 touchdowns, with only 1 interception, while completing 63.1 percent of his passes this season. Damien Harris leads the Tide in rushing with 625 yards and 9 touchdowns and is averaging a gaudy 9.2 yards per carry.
Tennessee-Alabama preview coverage
- Starting QB Jarrett Guarantano eager for test at Alabama
- Guarantano breaks down first collegiate start
- Backup QB Quinten Dormady dealing with shoulder issue
- Remembering the Tennessee players who were recruited by Alabama
Pregame score predictions
Alabama 37, Tennessee 14
Tennessee’s offense has a bit more to it with a mobile quarterback, but this is a tough place for Jarrett Guarantano to make his first road start. — Mike Griffith
Alabama 42, Tennessee 7
Tennessee has yet to put together a full four-quarter performance. Facing the No. 1 team in the country probably isn’t the time the trend reverses itself. — Blake Morgan
Alabama 45, Tennessee 13
This one isn’t going to be fair. Alabama hasn’t had any trouble with anyone yet, and the Vols simply don’t have the offensive firepower to keep up. — Dustin Dopirak
Looking ahead to Week 9: The Vols play at Kentucky on Saturday, Oct. 28. Kickoff time is 7:30 p.m. ET, and SEC Network has the television broadcast.