The Crimson Tide won its 13th-consecutive game against the Volunteers, the longest streak in series history
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – No. 1 Alabama football claimed its 13th-straight victory over Tennessee, coming out with a 35-13 win under the lights in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night. The Crimson Tide goes to a perfect 7-0 on the year with a 4-0 mark in Southeastern Conference play, while the Vols drop to 2-5 and 1-3 in SEC competition.
The Alabama defense dominated the game all night, led by freshman linebacker Christian Harris who had a career-best eight tackles including one for a loss. Redshirt junior linebacker Terrell Lewis totaled seven tackles, including a game-high two sacks and career-high three tackles-for-loss, while freshman linebacker Shane Lee forced a fumble for the first time in his career and compiled six tackles to go along with one sack. Senior defensive backs Jared Mayden and Trevon Diggs came up big after Mayden grabbed an interception in the first half to go with five tackles and two pass breakups and Diggs had a 100-yard scoop-and-score in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Junior running back Najee Harris anchored the Tide offense, carrying a career-high 21 times for 105 yards and a career-best pair of rushing touchdowns, to go along with four catches for 48 yards. Junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was 11-of-12 for 155 yards through the air before leaving with an injury in the second quarter. Redshirt sophomore Mac Jones came in to replace Tagovailoa at quarterback and went 6-of-11 for 72 yards.
How It Happened
- The Tide defense started the game by forcing a Tennessee three-and-out, allowing the offense to take over in UT territory after sophomore Jaylen Waddle took the ensuing punt 13 yards to the 35-yard line. Four plays later, Najee Harris punched it in from one yard out to give UA the 7-0 advantage.
- After trading interceptions, the Vols tied it up at 7-7 with a 41-yard scoring drive.
- Before the end of the quarter, Alabama took back the lead after compiling a quick six-play, 65-yard touchdown drive, capped by junior running back Brian Robinson Jr. getting into the end zone for the eight-yard score. The Crimson Tide led 14-7 after the first 15 minutes of action.
- Tennessee cut into the Alabama lead in the second quarter adding a field goal to make it 14-10 with 11:54 to go in the half.
- The Crimson Tide responded with another touchdown drive, which included a 40-yard pitch-and-catch from Tagovailoa to Ruggs III to put UA deep in UT territory. The drive was eventually finished off by Najee Harris walking in untouched from one yard out for his second score of the day. Alabama took the 21-10 edge into halftime.
- In the third quarter, the Vols cut the margin to a one-possession game with a 32-yard field goal to make it 21-13 with 8:32 on the clock.
- On the ensuing Crimson Tide possession, Jones and Najee Harris drove the Tide down the field to the UT 6-yard line, when redshirt freshman Slade Bolden set up in the backfield, took the snap and found redshirt junior tight end Miller Forristall wide open for the six-yard touchdown, pushing the lead back to 28-13 with 4:55 remaining in the third frame.
- The Crimson Tide put the game away in the fourth quarter after Tennessee went for it on fourth down from the UA 1-yard line. UT quarterback Jarrett Guarantano fumbled the ball at the goal line and senior defensive back Trevon Diggs scooped it up in the end zone and ran 100 yards for the score to make it 35-13, the eventual final.
Players of the Game
- Najee Harris put together his third 100-yard rushing game of the season, while totaling 153 all-purpose yards. The Antioch, Calif., native averaged five yards per carry to go along with his career-high two rushing touchdowns.
- Bolden came into the game in a crucial situation and threw his first career pass which resulted in a Tide touchdown to push the lead to two possessions in the second half.
- Mayden held down the Alabama secondary after coming up with his second career interception in the first quarter and a career-high two pass breakups.
- The Alabama linebackers controlled the game with Christian Harris, Lewis, redshirt senior linebacker Anfernee Jennings and Lee combining for 28 tackles, 5.5 tackles-for-loss and three sacks.
- The Crimson Tide outgained the Vols 373-231.
- The Alabama offense averaged 6.8 yards per play compared to Tennessee averaging 3.8 yards per offensive snap.
- Alabama is home for the second-consecutive week in Bryant-Denny Stadium when it hosts Arkansas for homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 26. Kickoff between the Crimson Tide and the Razorbacks is slated for 6 p.m. CT and will air on ESPN.