In a game that truly was a tale of two halves, Alabama pulls off a huge victory against their rivals, the Tennessee Volunteers. But, in a game marred by a sluggish offense in the first half, the Tide may have been caught looking ahead to the big match-up in November against LSU.
Tennessee started the game out with a solid drive that ended with the Vols getting 3 on the board first. Bama returned the favor2 minutes later with a field goal of their own. Sadly, that was it for the first quarter, as both teams seemed sluggish on offense to start the game.
The second quarter was more of the same. This time, Alabama hit their field goal first. But, the answer from Tennessee wasn’t just a field goal, it was a 52 yard thing of beauty as it sailed through the uprights. But regardless of the distance or style of the two kickers, the score still ended the same at the half, with both teams running into the lock rooms with 6 a piece.
Now, with all the hype surrounding the LSU/Alabama match-up, one would have to imagine that the Tide wasn’t focused on the task at hand. Whatever Coach Saban said in the locker room, it had a foundational effect that completely changed the rest of the game.
“He jumped our butts about it,” wide receiver Darius Hanks told press. “He said we had to come out and play better.”
And that’s just what happened, as Alabama went on a tear against a stunned Tennessee defense. Alabama went on to score 31 unanswered points, lead by AJ McCarron in the air and Trent Richardson on the ground. McCarron finished the game 17 for 26, with over 284 yards, a touchdown and one INT. Richardson carried 17 times for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Richardson also got his 16th rushing touchdown of the season by shedding five Tennessee defenders in a 12 yard run into the end zone.
The Alabama defense stayed pretty steady throughout the evening, holding Tennessee’s offense to 155 total yards. Tennessee was only able to get 63 total yards in the air, forcing them to run against the Alabama secondary. On the other side, Tennessee gave up 437 total yards to the Tide, with 294 coming in the air. Alabama was able to amass 19 first downs, to Tennessee’s 6. One for each point scored.
Tennessee hosts South Carolina this week in Knoxville. The Vols are now 0-4 in the SEC and will be looking for their first conference win this year against the Gamecocks. Alabama has the week off, before all hell breaks loose on November 5th in Tuscaloosa against LSU.