NCAA Game Summary - Tennessee at Alabama|
(Saturday, October 22nd)
Final Score: (2) Alabama 37, Tennessee 6
Tuscaloosa, AL (Sports Network) - No. 2 Alabama overcame a slow start Saturday
to beat Tennessee, 37-6, after A.J. McCarron scrambled for a touchdown in the
third quarter and threw a long TD pass just over two minutes later to break
the game wide open.
The Crimson Tide, looking ahead to a meeting with No. 1 LSU in two weeks, went
to the locker room tied 6-6 with the Volunteers before breaking away for a
modern-era school record ninth straight win by at least 16 points.
McCarron threw for a career-high 284 yards, including a 39-yard strike to
Kenny Bell in the end zone after the Alabama quarterback had scrambled for a
score just moments earlier.
Marquis Maze lead all receivers with five catches for 106 yards for the
Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) and Trent Richardson rushed for 77 yards and two
touchdowns on 17 carries.
Tennessee (3-4, 0-4) failed to score at least 18 points for the eighth
straight game against Alabama, getting only a pair of field goals from Michael
Alabama and LSU will both have a bye week before their anticipated game on
November 5 -- a potential meeting of the top two teams in the AP poll.
The top-ranked Tigers routed No. 19 Auburn, 45-10, earlier Saturday as their
fans chanted "We want 'Bama! We want 'Bama!" at the end of the game.
First, the Crimson Tide had to get past Tennessee, and head coach Nick Saban
acknowledged that his team may have been caught looking forward to the LSU
"I'm obviously very pleased and happy with the results and the way we
responded in the second half," said Saban. "It was a little lackluster in the
first half, which is a little bit concerning, but there was a concern going
into the game, and something we tried to fight all week in terms of guys being
focused on what's happening right now, and not being concerned about the
The game changed for Saban's team on three plays in the third quarter.
Appropriately, one of them came on defense.
McCarron scrambled through the line for a two-yard touchdown, diving inside
the right pylon with the ball clutched in his left hand to make it 13-6.
Tennessee, gambling on an upset, went for it on 4th-and-1 but quarterback Matt
Simms was stopped at the line on a close play that was reviewed and upheld.
McCarron connected with Bell on a 39-yard score on the next play, dropping in
a perfect pass behind the defender to give Alabama a 20-6 lead just 2:16 after
the previous touchdown.
The Crimson Tide quarterback was 17-of-26 with an interception, while Simms
went 8-of-17 for just 58 yards and a pick for Tennessee.
Alabama scored on each of its next three possessions, going 63 yards in six
plays on the first one, which ended when Richardson scored on a 12-yard run to
make it 27-6.
Cade Foster kicked a 45-yard field goal early in the fourth, and Dont'a
Hightower intercepted Simms and returned it 29 yards to set up Richardson's
one-yard TD for the final score.
"This upcoming week we are just going to take it slow and just try to move
into things," said Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson, "but when LSU week comes
we are going to pick it back up and be ready to roll again."
Marlin Lane fumbled on Tennessee's ensuing possession, but Alabama was stopped
at the goal line on fourth down after an 11-play drive.
Palardy's 40-yard field goal in the first quarter gave Tennessee an early
lead. Jeremy Shelley kicked field goals of 26 and 29 yards for a 6-3 Alabama
edge but Palardy tied it before halftime with a career-best 52-yarder.
"It was a really great first half by our football team," said Tennessee head
coach Derek Dooley. "I was really proud of them for that."
Alabama has won five straight games in the series dating back to 2007 and is
48-38-7 all-time against Tennessee...The Crimson Tide won eight straight games
by 16 points or more in 1977-78...Alabama hasn't allowed an opponent to score
more than 14 points in nine straight games dating back to the Capital One Bowl
against Michigan State.
10/22 23:51:33 ET