After taking down an AP top 10 opponent on Saturday, No. 1 Alabama will face another top 10 team exactly one week later.
This is in no way to suggest the outcome would have automatically been different if the Vol defense and offensive line were at full strength or anything like that. "We worked on it all week in practice and we were trying to see how well we could run the ball and we live with the results".
Top-ranked Alabama showed its dominance Saturday by crushing outmanned ninth-ranked Tennessee 49-10, extending the Crimson Tide's winning streak in the storied rivalry to 10 straight games. Hurts had a play fake to Harris that got hung up and knocked Hurts off balance, He tried to throw the ball away, but Tennessee's Derek Barnett blocked the pass, which went nearly straight up, and then Barnett intercepted it. As it has all season, Alabama's defense got in on the scoring as well.
Texas A&M has become the last real hope. They lost Reeves-Maybin and Kirkland Jr.to injuries at linebacker, and backup Quart'e Sapp went down for the season against Ohio. "We did a great job on the edge doing that".
Alabama completed 17 of 27 passes for 156 yards, Tennessee 18-31 for 131 yards. At defensive tackle the Vols were spelling Kendal Vickers and Shy Tuttle with Kyle Phillips, a converted defensive end, and Quay Picou, who had zero tackles coming into today's game.
Alabama's ability to create favorable matchups was certainly evident on the first of his three touchdown runs, when Hurts pulled the ball on the zone-read handoff with Josh Jacobs and took off around the right side.
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Offensively, Tennessee football is averaging 239.5 yards in passing and 192.5 yards in rushing. They are immensely talented, but don't have the poise to win the big game with any consistency. "A lot of time will be spent in the training room and getting healthy". But against A&M the Vols lost Dylan Wiesman and Jashon Robertson. Tatum came in the game at the expense of his redshirt, meaning his first snap as a Vol came while trying to block Alabama. But Oklahoma had 21 points less than five minutes into the second quarter and piled up 510 total yards.
And the same questions on offense exist for LSU, which put up nice numbers in the second half but could hardly move the ball in the first and second quarter against an aggressively mediocre Southern Miss defense. It's hard to believe, for instance, that Terrence Cody would be able to play on this defense and in this age of college football. Some of those reserves had their moments; Elliott Berry had several. ESPN gives them a 16.4% chance of doing so. The Crimson Tide are clearly the best team in college football.
The good news is, many of its pieces can be repaired. "Texas A&M probably presents as many issues as any team that we've played all year", Saban said.
It didn't matter what defensive set the Vols called on Saturday night.
"We had way too many missed tackles". The defending national champions take the field in Neyland Stadium holding onto their number one ranking as the Vols find themselves in the top-10, ranked 9th in the country. The Vols had just 11 yards on 20 rushes at the half.
Intangibles: Alabama. They don't just want to win, they want to humiliate you. We don't know if a fuller-strength Tennessee can make enough of a difference. "We're definitely glad to have him in the offense". "He's very self-critical. So when you bring something up to him, it's kind of like, 'I get that.' Maybe it's because his dad was a coach". Get better where you can't. The main problem for Bielema and Arkansas is that they are in the same division as Nick Saban and Alabama.