KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide steamrolled No. 9 Tennessee 49-10 on Saturday in Neyland Stadium, gashing the Volunteers for an insane 438 rushing yards.
Playing without around 10 contributors (starters and reserves), Tennessee had no answer for Alabama’s prolific rushing attack or dominant defensive line.
After two-straight losses, the Volunteers (5-2, 2-2 SEC East) no longer control their destiny to the SEC Championship game, as No. 18 Florida beat Missouri on Saturday.
Here’s what coach Butch Jones had to say after Tennessee’s blowout loss:
- “Pretty simple game, it’s a line of scrimmage game, when you give up 438 rushing yards and offensively you have 32 yards rushing, you’re not giving yourself an opportunity.”
- Jones said the “bye week is coming at the appropriate time.”
- “I told our guys I loved them more tonight.”
- “I’ve never been through a season like this where the injuries continue to mount up.”
- Jones on pulling redshirt on Marcus Tatum: “We had no choice.” Notes that Kendrick, Robertson and Wiesman all hurt, Hall, too.
- “It takes years to build a program. Not a team.”
- “I thought our younger guys battled and did some good things.”
- “These kids will come back.”
- Jones is “very concerned” Tennessee will be unable to overcome injuries. Dressed less than 70 scholarship players today. “What can you say, you’re limited in some spots. But these kids are warriors … They hurt. … Football is a humbling game. We pride ourselves on stopping the run and running the football.”
- Jones again praising Tennessee’s resiliency but notes, “We’ve put ourselves in a position where we’ve got a lot to play for.”
- Jones really harping on poor run defense, calls loss a “team loss.” “It starts with me.” “I don’t want to use youth as experience.”
- On Jalen Hurts: “I think what they did is a good job is creating 1-on-1 matchups for him. They ran the same stuff we run.” “We had way too many missed tackles.” “We have to execute better.”
- Jones calls Derek Barnett (who added a strip-sack, interception) “a warrior.”
- “We weren’t able to play championship (special teams).” “One play can change the magnitude of the game. Today was unacceptable.” Jones did add he thought punter Trevor Daniel had a good game.