Final: Alabama 37, Tennessee 6

Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower sacks Tennessee quarterback Matt Simms (12) at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower sacks Tennessee quarterback Matt Simms (12) at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Game recap: Bama 37, UT 6

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — When the roof caves in on Tennessee, get out of the way — it really caves in. There won’t be survivors.

As to how a 6-6 halftime tie turned into a 37-6 mauling by No. 1 Alabama on Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium, well, Vol fans have seen this movie before.

It’s a replay that won’t go away in the undermanned Derek Dooley era. The Vols fight the good fight for a half. But, inevitably, there is a second half.

This particular third quarter had a rhythm to it:

Tennessee: 1-2-3-kick.

Alabama: touchdown.

Tennessee: 1-2-3-kick.

Alabama: touchdown.

Tennessee: 1-2-3 … you get the picture.

The Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) scored 31 points in the second half before Tennessee made a first down.

In fact, the Vols never did make another first down. They’ll have to wait until they play South Carolina in Neyland Stadium.

‘‘We’re just a really fragile, fragile football team right now,’’ Dooley said.

Alabama’s drive to be a national champion for the second time in three years is made of sterner stuff. And its winning streak over Tennessee extends to five games.

Tennessee quarterback Matt Simms watches a loose ball after fumbling it during the game against Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011.  Tennessee recovered the ball on the play.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2011

Tennessee quarterback Matt Simms watches a loose ball after fumbling it during the game against Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. Tennessee recovered the ball on the play. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

That’s 5-0 since Nick Saban took over and Dooley is the third UT coach he has vanquished during that run.

“Derek’s done a great job there,’’ said Saban. “They were certainly ready to play.’’

For a half. And they never were ready to score.

Tennessee (3-4, 0-4 SEC) failed to even get a whiff of the Alabama end zone. Michael Palardy’s field goals from 40 and 52 yards are all that stood between the Vols and being shut out by Alabama for the first time since 1980.

In the past three SEC games during a brutal October Tennessee has been outscored 95-25 by Georgia, No. 1 LSU and Alabama.

In those three games – the past two without injured quarterback Tyler Bray – the Vols’ scoring has dwindled from 12 points to seven to six.

At halftime both teams had six points and six first downs. It was reminiscent of last year in Knoxville when the game was tied 10-10 at the half.

In that one, the Tide outscored UT 21-0 in the third quarter and 31-0 in the second half.

And that’s exactly how it went Saturday night.

Alabama’s sophomore quarterback, AJ McCarron, scored the game’s first touchdown on a 2-yard run in the third quarter to make it 13-6.

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley walks the sideline with his head in his hands as Alabama closes out a 37-6 win during the fourth quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2011

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley walks the sideline with his head in his hands as Alabama closes out a 37-6 win during the fourth quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

That unleashed the Tidal wave.

Tennessee gambled on fourth-and-1 at its own 39, got stuffed and on the next play McCarron threw a 39-yard strike to Kenny Bell for a TD and a 20-6 lead.

It was Heisman Trophy candidate Trent Richardson’s turn next, a 12-yard run. Still third quarter and it was 27-6.

And still no first down from the UT offense.

The Tide settled for a field goal to start the fourth quarter.

Down 30-6, Tennessee’s next two snaps were turnovers.

The first was a Matt Simms pass that Dont’a Hightower intercepted and returned 39 yards to the UT 9. Richardson’s 1-yard run finished the scoring.

Marlin Lane fumbled to abort Tennessee’s next possession. Saban called off the dogs and a lineup of Alabama subs was stopped on fourth down, a foot short of another touchdown.

Back to the start. Alabama won the toss and elected to receive. It backfired when Austin Johnson produced Tennessee’s second interception of the season and first since the season-opener.

Nothing came of it, but at least UT announced its presence.

The Vols assembled a 12-play drive to position Palardy for his first field goal, a 40-yarder.

Tennessee 3, Alabama 0 was certainly a surprising score to pop up on scoreboards and TV sets around the nation.

The Tide hit on a 69-yard bomb to Marquis Maze to the UT 12, but UT held and Jeremy Smelley tied it with a 26-yard field goal.

In the second quarter Alabama marched inside the Tennessee 10 but Richardson was slammed for a 3-yard loss on third-and-7. Shelley’s 29-yard field goal followed.

Tennessee got even, thanks to a bit of trickery.

On fourth-and-4 at the Vols’ 47, Palardy lined up to punt but instead flipped a pass to Anthony Anderson, who fought mightily for the required fifth yard to convert the first down.

A 15-yard facemask penalty was included in the bargain, all the way to the Alabama 33.

That was the end of the line, but Palardy nursed a career-long 52-yard field goal over the uprights and it was 6-6.

That’s where it stayed – until the roof collapsed.

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Comments » 315

Ironcity writes:

UT will never beat anyone with Simms under center. The only thing I blame the coaches for is playing him in the first place. I am also extremely disappointed in Brewer. Not sure what happened to him but he no longer brings in any aspect. he needs to be on the bench next to Simms.

rockytop95 writes:

simms is a bad bad bad qb

GloryDays writes:

All you Fulmer haters, are you happy?

newportvol writes:

Just plain awful.. Very sickneing.. tired of the excuses.. Blame Fulmer blame kiffin blame hamilton.. I just wanna win Is that to much to ask for?

SandySpringsVol writes:

Matt Simms should not play another down for Tennessee. The offense is crippled with him behind center. He poses no threat of anything resembling an effective passing game. Even Palardi looked more polished back there than Simms did.

1bigvolman writes:

We've got some good talent, they can play toe to toe with these great teams for a half, just need more maturity and depth. Dooley will get us there in about 2 years. GO VOLS!!!

BlueHound writes:

This is not acceptable. I'm a big, money paying fan, and 6-6 at halftime turns into 31 unanswered points in the second half...not kosher. Out-effing-coached, big time. This will not do. Two weeks in a row. Be effing ashamed coaches...this will NOT do...

atnvol#283282 writes:

Sims is the worst QB for the Vols since 1971. It just rips the heart out of the defense with QB play like we are getting now. I first thought that it would be best to not play our freshman QB, but now I think we should.

volsrcrybabies writes:

ROLL TIDE ROLL!! Dooley the savior!! All hail Dooley!!

notnegativenotstupid writes:

It's not that Tennessee plays good in the first half, it's that the other team plays bad. Tennessee is playing the same both halves, the other team plays flat against lonely UT, its tough to get up for UT right now.

Razor784 writes:

Simms is the worst starting qb in UT history we gotta try Worley it can't get much worse

BigO writes:

They may never find all the volunteers that are buried under this collapse. General Neyland is rolling over in his grave.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say bring on Worley next week! Witch Doctor say we have better chance ...good luck coaching Simms.
Bones never lie.

McMinnVol writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Could not disagree more. Gave Simms every opportunity. Worley will play next week. People like you are way too impatient. Dooley will get it done. Proud of great first half against perhaps best team in nation. GO VOLS!

FiftyOne writes:

My MaMa taught me not to talk bad about anyone....Worley should start next week.

VolfanClinton writes:

Do you think we could fire Dooley and hire Kiffin back ? At least he knows how to coach on the field!!

bikervol writes:

Totally unimaginative, uninspiring play calling throughout, especially in the second half-Geez why did they wait so long to get Simms out-I hate to say it but he's 3rd-4th string at best-once again we let a team just run over us to set the tone for the second half-at that point they can't be that tired-a bright spot here and there but why stay soooo conservative when the outcome is decided-why not let Worley pass at least once when you're gonna blow his redshirt anyway? at 37-6 who cares if its 43-6?

OrangeBlur writes:

What the French? Blowing Worley's redshirt? Nance could have done alright. Strange.

Grasping for 6-6 I reckon.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

I guess Nash Nance (a Dooley recruit), doesn't have enough "character" to play in a game.

BlueHound writes:

Simms should not take another snap. Worley good luck dude. You just lost a year. I wouldn't blame you if you transferred. Why didnt they put Nance in , if they were going to just hand off and ruin a years worth of eligibility? He's already had his redshirt...

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say these kinda post expose your "little man" ... Witch Doctor say you dont even make sense..Brays not better than Simms? Go away and let people who KNOW sports talk..you just want to bicker..
Bones never lie

notnegativenotstupid writes:

in response to BlueHound:

This is not acceptable. I'm a big, money paying fan, and 6-6 at halftime turns into 31 unanswered points in the second half...not kosher. Out-effing-coached, big time. This will not do. Two weeks in a row. Be effing ashamed coaches...this will NOT do...

You have passion, but you dont have any sense. Do you know the breakdown of Alabama's lineup vs. UT's. Bama's starting lineup is all juniors and seniors, and the one sophomore is a redshirt. You need patients with your passion.

SandySpringsVol writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Obviously all those years of family inbreeding have shrunk your brain to the size of a prune. Why don't you go on to bed with your wife/sister and leave football discussions to those who know more than you, which would be just about anyone.

GetSimmsandTeagueout writes:

Simms is the worst QB since Mathews(sp) in 2000 and even Fulmer had sense enough to never let him play but one game. Dooley is looking dumber every game. We should change our name from Volunteers to Quitters under Dooley.

BloodLustVoL writes:

Just remember the facts, Alabama did not see another national championship after the 1992 national championship. Antonio Langham f'ed that program up along with other NCAA infractions that equated to almost 15 years of phooey seasons with phooey coaches. Don't forget the Alabama coach who was photo with underaged hookers. Mike Shula and Dooley should drink a beer together and exchange numbers.

nostradamus writes:

Well, it's obvious that the season is now just playing for respectability and building hope for the future. One easy thing we can change. Stop wearing orange and white shoes! Please go back to the black shoes that we wore during the 1990's and early 2000's. And while we're at it, wear plain white pants with the orange power T on the hip instead of pants with stripes. And definitely do not wear orange pants anymore. They are a curse. Oh well, might as well discuss the uniform. The games are too depressing, at least the second half of games.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

Come on now! This is the #2 team in the country! We stayed with them for a half because we had some success running the football! But, Simms is NOT a play-maker and Da'Rick is getting doubled! We are young and our best weapons are injured! IT TAKES TIME! BE PATIENT!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to McMinnVol:

Could not disagree more. Gave Simms every opportunity. Worley will play next week. People like you are way too impatient. Dooley will get it done. Proud of great first half against perhaps best team in nation. GO VOLS!

Dooley could fart in your breakfast cereal and you would applaud the effort.

wbsmd1 writes:

4 SEC games same terrible first 5 in second half.Wilcox again tried to stick with same set and safety down. It makes it so easy for opposing teams to adjust and Alabama like Georgia immediately went to down the field passes.This coaching staff is as bad at halftime as they are at recruiting. You get what you pay for.

oldbasshead writes:

in response to 1bigvolman:

We've got some good talent, they can play toe to toe with these great teams for a half, just need more maturity and depth. Dooley will get us there in about 2 years. GO VOLS!!!

So far I haven't seen anything to support your post. All one has to do is watch 2nd half of Ga, LSU and Bama game to see that Dooley's staff is not up to the task.

doh writes:

154 total yards for the game. Has UT ever been that inept? Lets see Worley play until Bray comes back. Its a shame to burn his redshirt and not even let him throw the ball.

notnegativenotstupid writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not redshirting Worley gives UT a better chance at getting a big name QB in the future, that is not a big deal. UT and Dooley will be fine. It takes time.

SummittsCourt writes:

Relax people, you knew this was a no win game and the Vols hung in there with the best teams in the country for at least a half two weeks in a row.

If you could calm down and look at things you might see that progress is being made. This is a year that there are some really good teams and then there is the rest of us. Look at all of the blow outs today.

Be patient, it will get better. 7-5 is still a real possibility.

bikervol writes:

in response to SandySpringsVol:

Matt Simms should not play another down for Tennessee. The offense is crippled with him behind center. He poses no threat of anything resembling an effective passing game. Even Palardi looked more polished back there than Simms did.

I agree Palardy probably threw the best Tenn pass thrown all night-(at least he threw it to one of our guys)

BigO writes:

Can they revoke Simm's scholarship? Get him out of here. Worthless...

Give_em_six writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm sorry maybe he should throw it deep when he is on the 2 yard line. Are you sure your name is not MerIDIOT_GoVols.
The way you talk that is what I am starting to think. Next week he will sling it around.

CaliVOL2 writes:

I agree that Sims should never play another down but you really want to replace Dooley? The guy needs four years before you should criticize. He inherited a mess. If Bray and Hunter were in the game tonight, we may have won!

BloodLustVoL writes:

in response to BigVolFaninSC:

Come on now! This is the #2 team in the country! We stayed with them for a half because we had some success running the football! But, Simms is NOT a play-maker and Da'Rick is getting doubled! We are young and our best weapons are injured! IT TAKES TIME! BE PATIENT!

I have been patient since the national championship game in Tempe...

utjunkie writes:

Defense played well for the most part, little dissapointed in the secondary (gave to big of a cushion). We simply need more size and players. We've got some DT's committed for next year so help is on the way.

GiveHimSixMoreYears writes:

Doofus caused this beatdown, make no mistake. Doofus never made one adjustment and took the wind out of these players sails by plaing for a moral victory at the end of the half. Second half Saban could have laid 60 on Doolittle.

Let's hear the youth and inexperience excuses to cover Dooleave's miserable coaching.

aaronhrab#371282 writes:

I am starting to wonder what the half time locker room conversation in like at these games, or if there even is one. Are the coaches trying to mess with Vegas odds so that they can make extra money betting on the games, or are they so in over their heads that they think the other team is not going to make half time adjustments? If it were a lack of conditioning then it would not be a total breakdown from the first whistle of the second half.

Second why on 3rd and really any distance to the receivers ALL seem to run about two to three yards of the first down yardage? Typically in order to get a first down you need to pass a spot on the field, the refs are not going to give you one for making a nice catch, or running a good route.

Finally I think Simms could be a good QB if he could:
1. look at more than 1 receiver
2. throw the ball in the general catch-able vicinity of said receiver
3. learn to throw the ball away

Really finally this time, if CDD's staff can not manage players and play calling then he needs to get people in there who can. He is overall responsible for everything that happens during a game, and as such needs to have the ability to see where he is having continued problems and fix it. If there is some grad assistant responsible for ushering players on and off the field (or whoever) and they keep screwing it up then fire them. Same should go with any coach hem hem (Chaney/Wilcox) who seem to be unable to adjust to anything other than a third of fourth rate team.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to Ironcity:

UT will never beat anyone with Simms under center. The only thing I blame the coaches for is playing him in the first place. I am also extremely disappointed in Brewer. Not sure what happened to him but he no longer brings in any aspect. he needs to be on the bench next to Simms.

"The only thing I blame the coaches for is playing him in the first place."

That's why Simms was played in the first place. Dooley knew this was going to be a blowout and so he put Simms under center to deflect criticism of the loss.

I will hand it to Dooley, he is playing three moves ahead when it comes to the excuse game.

wallingdad writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say bring on Worley next week! Witch Doctor say we have better chance ...good luck coaching Simms.
Bones never lie.

my thoughts too. simms might be an upstanding young man but a qb he is not. he acutally hurts the team badly by playing. i am sure worley cannot do any worse and can get a few game reps for the future.

vut56#231073 writes:

Scheming, half-time adjustments and Saban, Meyer and Miles all on our sideline would make no diference; we are outmanned for the time being and one can keep their finger in the dike only so long. Playing the freshman qb only confirms he will start next week; why not? Could not do worse than Sims. We should acknowledge Sims loyalty to the program; he is just not a SEC QB; he is just all we had three weeks ago.

GloryDays writes:

in response to VolfanClinton:

Do you think we could fire Dooley and hire Kiffin back ? At least he knows how to coach on the field!!

Kiffin is a low life cheater! Glad he is gone.

utclassof1992 writes:

Do not cry and do not whine. This fanbase asked for this change and ran off a winner. Enjoy it.

VolCard writes:

Not much good to say after any loss to Alabama. There are flashes of good play from our young guys, but we don't have the depth to hold on against a team like LSU or Alabama for a full 60 minutes. It will be a challenge for CDD and company to get the kids refocused for next week after the last two games, and we'll see if they can do it. I'm confident they can. Go Vols - in good times and bad. Beat the gamecocks.

SandySpringsVol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say these kinda post expose your "little man" ... Witch Doctor say you dont even make sense..Brays not better than Simms? Go away and let people who KNOW sports talk..you just want to bicker..
Bones never lie

Amen WD. This guy knows less about football than a shovel.

djohnnyg writes:

in response to newportvol:

Just plain awful.. Very sickneing.. tired of the excuses.. Blame Fulmer blame kiffin blame hamilton.. I just wanna win Is that to much to ask for?

Ha. Blame everyone BUT the guy who actually coached the team to two consecutive 31 pt. losses?

Fulmer NEVER lost THIS BAD to so called "rivals" in consecutive weeks.

Oh, but "we're a young team" who lost their star receiver". Losing ONE GUY does not make a program collapse..or should not.

As for "young", what is McCarren again???? Oh yeah, he's a FRESHMAN who just lit up "Big" Orange.

Those darn "external indicators" like the scoreboard don't tell the real story of how this program is progressing.

We're good. Really we are.

BlueHound writes:

A season that began with such promise...lost. Even winning out from now....is a disappointment. I have been a ticket buying supporter, but if this continues...at this point in 2012...who is the next Tennessee head coach?

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