Bama Goes Bama On Vols: Alabama 45, Tennessee 7
Alabama played poorly and still rolled Tennessee. What does it all mean?
Alabama was off. It turned it over twice – including a pick-six for Tennessee’s only points – it had several bad early penalties that killed momentum, and it wasn’t nearly as sharp as it should’ve been.
And it destroyed Tennessee as if it was a light scrimmage. That’s exactly what Nick Saban treated the game as in the second half.
In a display of part-mercy, part-disrespect, Alabama took out Jalen Hurts and some of the other offensive stars, and put in Tua Tagovailoa to run most of the second half. Outside of his interception he threw for a score, it didn’t matter. It was a performance of total dominance even though the Crimson Tide played its C+ game. That’s how good Alabama is, and that’s how miserable Tennessee is.
Tennessee, who hadn’t scored a touchdown in its previous two games, and only had a defensive score against the Tide, had it 1st-and-goal at the five. Stuff, penalty, stuff. 4th-and-goal, interception. That’s the Alabama defense, and that’s the Butch Jones era with a third straight game without an offensive touchdown.
The Vols converted one of 12 third down tries, and came up with 108 yards of total offense. Alabama had 35 first downs, Tennessee seven, and the Tide O cranked up over 600 yards, again, with a slew of backups in the second half.
And again, Alabama played relatively poorly.
Now what for Alabama? As always, Nick Saban isn’t going to be happy. Tennessee is awful, and he knows it – he still wants and needs his team to be better. Now he and the team get two weeks off to get ready for LSU and the rest of the finishing kick.
Now what for Tennessee? Even at 3-4, all hope isn’t loss to recover something from this season. Beat Kentucky next week, get by Southern Miss, and beat Missouri, and the Vols get a bowl bid. But first, getting an offensive touchdown would be nice.