INSTANT: Alabama wins 13th straight over Tennessee

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INSTANT: Alabama wins 13th straight over Tennessee

CW / Hannah Saad

CW / Hannah Saad

CW / Hannah Saad

CW / Hannah Saad

James Benedetto and James Ogletree, Sports Editors

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In a game that saw two starting quarterbacks leave the field early due to injury, the 2019 rendition of the Third Saturday in October had momentum swings for both teams but Alabama was victorious in a 35-13 win over Tennessee. 

 

Play of the game: With the Vols offense on the 1-yard line hoping to pull within one score with less than eight minutes on the clock, Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano fumbled the ball while attempting to jump over the pile. Alabama senior corner Trevon Diggs scooped up the ball in the end zone and ran more than 100 yards the other way for the game-clinching touchdown.

 

Offensive player of the game:

James Ogletree: Najee Harris

James Benedetto: Najee Harris

Fan Vote: Najee Harris

 

Defensive player of the game:

James Ogletree: Trevon Diggs

James Benedetto: Terrell Lewis

Fan Vote: Terrell Lewis

 

Notes:

  • Sophomore running back Najee Harris scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown on Alabama’s first play of the game. It was Harris’ second rushing TD of the year and the Crimson Tide’s fourth opening-drive touchdown in four home games this season.
  • Junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw an interception near the goal line on Alabama’s second possession. Tennessee returned it to the Alabama 41-yard line; then the Vols scored on a 2-yard QB sneak to tie the game.
  • After an interception in its last appearance in the red zone, Alabama elected to keep the ball on the ground for its second drive of the first quarter. Junior running back Brian Robinson Jr. got to the edge and steamrolled a Tennessee defensive back to increase the Crimson Tide lead to 14-7. 
  • Tennessee had first-and-goal at Alabama’s 5-yard line but was flagged for a false start and offensive holding to push it back to the 20. The Vols made a 37-yard field goal to get within four points.
  • Harris added his second rushing touchdown of the game, a 1-yarder, in the second quarter. It was the first time in his career that he’s had multiple rushing TDs in the same game.
  • Tagovailoa was dragged down by his ankles for a sack in the second quarter. He headed to the medical tent and junior Mac Jones entered the game for the rest of the drive. Then freshman punter Will Reichard kicked a 33-yard punt and headed to the medical tent while Tagovailoa moved to the locker room.
  • Jones was up-and-down on his two drives before halftime, completing passes of 13 and 21 yards but throwing a few inaccurate passes and taking a 10-yard sack on third down.
  • Tennessee called three straight timeouts as Alabama lined up a 40-yard field goal. The field goal was no good, keeping Alabama’s lead at 21-10 entering halftime.
  • Tagovailoa did not return from the locker room to start the second half after an ankle injury. Tennessee drove down to Alabama’s 7-yard line but the drive again stalled due to penalties. The Vols made a field goal and got within one score, 21-13, early in the third quarter.
  • Freshman left guard Evan Neal was injured in the third quarter and replaced by Emil Ekiyor Jr. On the next play, redshirt freshman receiver/Wildcat quarterback Slade Bolden threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Miller Forristall to put Alabama back up two scores. Neal returned to the game on the next drive.
  • With seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, the proverbial roof was blown off of Bryant-Denny Stadium as Diggs recovered a fumble in the end zone and ran it the length of the field for a touchdown to give Alabama a 35-13 lead.