KNOXVILLE (WATE) – It was a deficit too big for Tennessee to rally back from.
After scoring 21 points in the first half, No. 1 Alabama punched on the gas in the second, scoring 28 more to run past the No. 9 Vols 49-10 on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.
Alabama found the end zone first with a 29-yard reverse from ArDarius Stewart. The touchdown capped off an 8-play, 91 yard drive that took just 2:58.
The Crimson Tide scored their eighth defensive touchdown this season with 0:14 left to play in the first quarter. Joshua Dobbs’ screen pass to Jalen Hurd was intercepted and returned 58 yards for a score by Ronnie Harrison.
At the end of the first quarter, Alabama led the total yards battle with 105 compared to the Vols 8. However, Tennessee fans still thought the Vols had a chance of winning.
“If anyone has been watching the games this season, we know we like to go out and feel the opponents,” said Bryan Smith, a Tennessee fan.
Tennessee would get a boost from Derek Barnett in the second quarter. Barnett’s sack on Jalen Hurts led the a fumble recovered by the Vols on the Crimson Tide 11-yard line.
Alvin Kamara would convert the turnover into a 7-yard touchdown run to make it a 14-7 Alabama lead.
Alabama would take a two-possession lead on its ensuing drive after the Vols touchdown. Jalen Hurts took a zone-read 45 yards to put the Crimson Tide up 21-7 in the second quarter.
Once again, Barnett would answer. Following a Shy Tuttle pass deflection, Barnett became the first Tennessee defensive lineman to record an interception since Jacques Smith against Auburn in 2013.
Alabama had the chance to take a three-score advantage going into halftime before Adam Griffith missed a 37-yard field goal to end the first quarter.
Jalen Hurts continued to run all over the Vols defense in the second half. Hurts ended a 5-play drive with a 2-yard run to give Alabama a 28-7 lead with just over 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Vol fans started to leave the stadium before the fourth quarter.
“I’m not really excited about it,” said one fan leaving the game early.
Tennessee would cut the lead to 18 with an Aaron Medley 37-yard field goal. The Vols’ trip the the red zone was just their second of the day.
Jalen Hurts found the end zone on the ground for a career-high third time in the third quarter. Hurts scrambled from 1 yard out ending an 8-play drive to give the Crimson Tide a 35-10 lead.
Alabama would pour it on with an Eddie Jackson’s 79-yard punt return for a touchdown. It was Alabama’s 11th non-offensive score this season. It also put the Crimson Tide up 42-10 in the fourth quarter.
Alabama would take a 49-10 lead after Bo Scarborough cruised 85 yards for a touchdown. That brought the Crimson Tide’s total yardage up to 533, 390 comes on the ground.
“I was hoping we would win but I thought it would be closer than this,” said another Tennessee fan.
Most Tennessee fans are staying positive about the rest of the season.
“I think we will win out, honestly,” said a Tennessee fan.