Tennessee football did what every team who faced the Alabama Crimson Tide has done this year. The Volunteers got blown out 58-21.
Tua Tagovailoa and the Alabama Crimson Tide took longer to score on their first offensive drive against Tennessee football than they have all year: four minutes and two seconds. That was just the first drive of another onslaught, as the Tide beat the Vols 58-21 in a game that saw Jarrett Guarantano go down with an injury in the first half.
Jeremy Pruitt’s team was just the next victim to suffer miserably against Alabama, and it came despite all the injuries to the Tide, including Tagovailoa playing with an injured leg. After the opening touchdown, Jarrett Guarantano was hit on the Vols’ opening drive and fumbled, setting up another Alabama TD that gave them a 14-0 lead.
Two punts by the Vols were followed by two more touchdowns by Alabama, and Tennessee football fell behind 28-0 at the end of the first. The Vols found some life offensively in the second quarter, but it came at a cost. Guarantano sparked the offense with a 30-yard completion to Josh Palmer, but both players went down with injuries on that play.
Keller Chryst came in after that and finished the job with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Ty Chandler. Chryst led another scoring drive the next time he had the ball, as it went 81 yards and ended with a pass from him to Tyler Byrd.
But Alabama had two touchdowns to respond both times and go into the half up 42-14. For the game, Chryst showed he could play by completing 9-of-15 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
However, the Vols could not run the ball all day, as they had 30 carries for 31 yards, but that was largely due to minus-30 yards rushing on sacks with Guarantano, minus-three yards on a sack with Chryst, and minus-five yards on two carries from Madre London. Tim Jordan actually led the team in rushing with 14 carries for 50 yards, and Jauan Jennings led the team in receiving with six receptions for 102 yards.
Tennessee football’s offense put Alabama in even more control by giving up a safety and another touchdown to open the second half, spotting Alabama a 51-14 lead. This was after Pruitt called out his players in separate interviews and addressed the need to recruit new talent coming out of the half. So Tagovailoa scored three straight touchdowns from the first half to the second half. He completed 19-of-29 passes for 309 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
After a Brent Cimaglia field goal miss on the next drive, Jalen Hurts finally came in, but Kyle Phillips made things interesting with a pick-six on a ball that was batted by Baylen Buchanan. Hurts responded with a touchdown drive, though, capped off by him running it in from 21 yards out, to put the Tide up 58-14. Alabama began just running clock after that. They had 40 carries for a total of 227 yards, and one drive ended in the red zone with a turnover on downs. The Vols punted twice, and the Tide just ran it and ran it to run clock. The end result was this 58-14 score.
With the win, Alabama moves to 8-0 on the season heading into their bye week before a huge showdown at the LSU Tigers. Meanwhile, Tennessee football falls to 3-4 on the season and has to go back on the road to face the South Carolina Gamecocks next week.