Alabama breezes past Tennessee, 45-10

Alabama running back Alvin Kamara (26) intercepts a pass intended for Tennessee wide receiver Marquez North (8) and runs it back for a touchdown during the first half against Alabama Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2013

Alabama running back Alvin Kamara (26) intercepts a pass intended for Tennessee wide receiver Marquez North (8) and runs it back for a touchdown during the first half against Alabama Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Tennessee thought it had improved in the six weeks since getting routed by No. 2 Oregon on Sept. 14.

Maybe so, but it didn’t look that way Saturday as No. 1 Alabama breezed to a 45-10 victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium, staying on track to play for a third consecutive national title.

The Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) required only three plays to score after the opening kickoff and set the tone for the crucial first half.

T.J. Yeldon rushed for three of Alabama’s touchdowns as the Crimson Tide extended its winning streak over the Vols to seven straight in the Nick Saban Era.

All 10 of Tennessee’s points came with freshman Josh Dobbs at quarterback in the second half.

Rajion Neal’s 3-yard run early in the fourth quarter was UT’s only trip to the end zone and was the first touchdown allowed at home by the Tide this year.

It was 21-0 after one quarter as Alabama quickly drained the drama out of this edition of the historic rivalry.

The Vols almost got to the half down only 28-0 but Alabama’s Landon Collins returned an interception off Justin Worley 89 yards for a touchdown with only 12 seconds left in the second quarter.

The Vols (4-4, 1-3 SEC) came to Alabama buoyed by an upset of No. 11-ranked South Carolina a week earlier, ending a 19-game string of losses to ranked teams.

Starting another streak Saturday was almost inevitable, considering Alabama was a 28.5-point favorite.

Still, Tennessee expected to be more competitive than in the 59-14 loss at Oregon. That wasn’t the case, at least not in the first half.

Alabama scored on its first four possessions and was on the verge of making it five when Kenyon Drake fumbled at the Tennessee 1 and Cameron Sutton recovered.

The Vols were on their best drive of the half — thanks to a 43-yard bomb from Worley to Cody Blanc. But two plays later, Worley looked for North and instead found Collins at the UT 11.

Collins motored down the sideline, more or less unmolested to make it a 35-0 lead and squelch any semblance of Tennessee momentum.

When the Vols finally got on the scoreboard — a 37-yard Michael Palardy field goal in the third quarter — it was on a drive led by Dobbs.

Dobbs started the second half after a rough half by Worley in which he threw two interceptions and appeared to aggravate an injury to his throwing hand from the South Carolina game.

Neal’s TD came at the end of a nine-play, 55-yard drive on which Dobbs converted a fourth-down pass for first-and-goal at the Alabama 3.

The touchdown answered a 98-yard Alabama drive that ended in Yelden’s 1-yard run, his third score of the day.

The second half was a 10-10 draw but Alabama had already won the first half 35-0 to decide the day.

Alabama outgained UT 479 yards to 322.

Worley was 8-of-15 passing for 120 yards, all in the first half. Dobbs was 5-of-12 for 75 yards in the second.

Neal rushed 13 times for 70 yards. North caught four passes for 87 yards.

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Comments » 30

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

Oregon beat us with a combination of system and recruiting.
With Alabama, it was just pure recruiting.
Their guys just have more talent than ours.
Butch will change that over time.

gglardon50#417841 writes:

in response to MooseandSquirrelVol:

Oregon beat us with a combination of system and recruiting.
With Alabama, it was just pure recruiting.
Their guys just have more talent than ours.
Butch will change that over time.

I wouldn't hold my breath

Alpha-Snail writes:

To insist on playing Bama ever dang year is not tradition, it's insanity...and stupidity.

No other SEC East school would do that. Why? Because it almost always means you have to win more games than everyone else just to take our division. It also means that on the rare year that we do win the division, we're likely to have to play them twice in one season. What are the odds of winning both? What are the chances of EVER playing for an National Championship? You do the math.

That's not a slight against Coach Jones or the UT program. Its reality. Replace 'UT' with 'Georgia,' 'Florida,' or 'South Carolina' and it would be the same for them.

MikeNPS writes:

Congratulations to Bama for a big win. Clearly the Tide is the SECOND best team the Vols have played this year. Clearly Oregon is the best.

RDW writes:

Stay the course. GO VOLS!

volbald writes:

Maybe not the second best. Oregon has its hands full with UCLA.

Esau writes:

in response to MooseandSquirrelVol:

Oregon beat us with a combination of system and recruiting.
With Alabama, it was just pure recruiting.
Their guys just have more talent than ours.
Butch will change that over time.

I think you are right. We can compete up to a certain level the SC and Georgia games showed that. Elites like Oregon and Bama are still way above that level. I think given a couple years we may not win every game on the schedule but we can certainly be in every game. As far as this season goes next week will be a very telling game.

Atypical_liberal (Inactive) writes:

in response to Alpha-Snail:

To insist on playing Bama ever dang year is not tradition, it's insanity...and stupidity.

No other SEC East school would do that. Why? Because it almost always means you have to win more games than everyone else just to take our division. It also means that on the rare year that we do win the division, we're likely to have to play them twice in one season. What are the odds of winning both? What are the chances of EVER playing for an National Championship? You do the math.

That's not a slight against Coach Jones or the UT program. Its reality. Replace 'UT' with 'Georgia,' 'Florida,' or 'South Carolina' and it would be the same for them.

From 1995 to 2003, the Vols won 10 out of 12.

Esau writes:

in response to Atypical_liberal:

From 1995 to 2003, the Vols won 10 out of 12.

Exactly during that era the roles were reversed Bama was struggling and attempting to rebuild to return to their former glory. It took them several years it will also take us a few more. I do believe we are over the hump.

RecycledVol writes:

It's OK. I like what I see in Dobbs. I can't imagine being 18 and thrown into a situation like that. He seemed reasonably composed. I still think we have a lot to look forward to.

Give Bama their due. Let's hope they crush Oregon.

Alpha-Snail writes:

in response to Atypical_liberal:

From 1995 to 2003, the Vols won 10 out of 12.

That was a much different time. It occurred when Bama didn't have great coaching. It does now, and it will continue to do so for years or even decades to come.

I remember the dominance of the Bear. This is nothing like that. He never destroyed us, along with nearly every other team, the way Saban is doing now.

Someone with connections needs to have a heart to heart with Dave.

trek writes:

Although it would have been nice if UT could have been more effective, this result was not unexpected. Alabama is the #1 team for a reason.
But I predict that this is going to be the last time Bama beats UT down to this extent, and it won't be long till UT beats them. This coach and staff will keep working, will recruit better players every year, and will get it done.
Everybody knows this year's schedule is ridiculously hard, especially for this team. This team is making improvements, but there is no miracle cure, no instant fix-it....just hard, hard work and great new blood coming into the system.

It's going to happen. Let Saben enjoy this moment while he can because it won't last much longer.

Coach Jones is the right coach and he will continue to get this team turned around!

Tao_of_Tennessee writes:

in response to Atypical_liberal:

From 1995 to 2003, the Vols won 10 out of 12.

Won 10 out of 12 what?

rockypop writes:

in response to Alpha-Snail:

To insist on playing Bama ever dang year is not tradition, it's insanity...and stupidity.

No other SEC East school would do that. Why? Because it almost always means you have to win more games than everyone else just to take our division. It also means that on the rare year that we do win the division, we're likely to have to play them twice in one season. What are the odds of winning both? What are the chances of EVER playing for an National Championship? You do the math.

That's not a slight against Coach Jones or the UT program. Its reality. Replace 'UT' with 'Georgia,' 'Florida,' or 'South Carolina' and it would be the same for them.

I understand your logic and frustration, but at the same time I think it's terribly short-sided to throw out what is arguably the greatest historical rivalry in the SEC simply because Alabama is enjoying a time of great success.

There is simply too much history in this game - so much history in fact, that the SEC deemed the game important enough to keep when reorganizing the conference into two divisions. This was the one game that they refused to tamper with, because the "Third Saturday in October" was sacred to the conference.

It's now up to UT - just like it was to Alabama when they were down, to make this once again one of the greatest rivalries in college football. I don't remember Alabama fans clamoring to remove Tennessee from their schedule when they were having problems. In fact, they pretty much welcomed the opportunity to take their shot every year. And, in spite of the two program's different trajectories at the time, Alabama always showed up against UT.

This kind of rivalry is what makes college football great. We're already losing too many of them because of conference realignments. Let's not lose the best one in the SEC just because some fans are too impatient and willing to throw away our history for some instant gratification of winning against inferior opponents.

I'm 70 years old and have seen the ebb and flow of college football, and I'm confident that Tennessee will make this a great rivalry once again. Let's not abandon it just because Alabama is having their day in the sun right now.

snyderbs#212087 writes:

in response to rockypop:

I understand your logic and frustration, but at the same time I think it's terribly short-sided to throw out what is arguably the greatest historical rivalry in the SEC simply because Alabama is enjoying a time of great success.

There is simply too much history in this game - so much history in fact, that the SEC deemed the game important enough to keep when reorganizing the conference into two divisions. This was the one game that they refused to tamper with, because the "Third Saturday in October" was sacred to the conference.

It's now up to UT - just like it was to Alabama when they were down, to make this once again one of the greatest rivalries in college football. I don't remember Alabama fans clamoring to remove Tennessee from their schedule when they were having problems. In fact, they pretty much welcomed the opportunity to take their shot every year. And, in spite of the two program's different trajectories at the time, Alabama always showed up against UT.

This kind of rivalry is what makes college football great. We're already losing too many of them because of conference realignments. Let's not lose the best one in the SEC just because some fans are too impatient and willing to throw away our history for some instant gratification of winning against inferior opponents.

I'm 70 years old and have seen the ebb and flow of college football, and I'm confident that Tennessee will make this a great rivalry once again. Let's not abandon it just because Alabama is having their day in the sun right now.

Well said.

gc_scvol writes:

Still proud of my Vols. We took an old fashioned arse whippin today, that does NOT mean we should cut and run.Butch has us on the way back. Give him time. This won't be the last game we lose before we're back. More talent is on the way and we have the coaches that know how to use it. ALL VOL ... ALL THE TIME

Esau writes:

in response to rockypop:

I understand your logic and frustration, but at the same time I think it's terribly short-sided to throw out what is arguably the greatest historical rivalry in the SEC simply because Alabama is enjoying a time of great success.

There is simply too much history in this game - so much history in fact, that the SEC deemed the game important enough to keep when reorganizing the conference into two divisions. This was the one game that they refused to tamper with, because the "Third Saturday in October" was sacred to the conference.

It's now up to UT - just like it was to Alabama when they were down, to make this once again one of the greatest rivalries in college football. I don't remember Alabama fans clamoring to remove Tennessee from their schedule when they were having problems. In fact, they pretty much welcomed the opportunity to take their shot every year. And, in spite of the two program's different trajectories at the time, Alabama always showed up against UT.

This kind of rivalry is what makes college football great. We're already losing too many of them because of conference realignments. Let's not lose the best one in the SEC just because some fans are too impatient and willing to throw away our history for some instant gratification of winning against inferior opponents.

I'm 70 years old and have seen the ebb and flow of college football, and I'm confident that Tennessee will make this a great rivalry once again. Let's not abandon it just because Alabama is having their day in the sun right now.

Great comment!

Tao_of_Tennessee writes:

in response to rockypop:

I understand your logic and frustration, but at the same time I think it's terribly short-sided to throw out what is arguably the greatest historical rivalry in the SEC simply because Alabama is enjoying a time of great success.

There is simply too much history in this game - so much history in fact, that the SEC deemed the game important enough to keep when reorganizing the conference into two divisions. This was the one game that they refused to tamper with, because the "Third Saturday in October" was sacred to the conference.

It's now up to UT - just like it was to Alabama when they were down, to make this once again one of the greatest rivalries in college football. I don't remember Alabama fans clamoring to remove Tennessee from their schedule when they were having problems. In fact, they pretty much welcomed the opportunity to take their shot every year. And, in spite of the two program's different trajectories at the time, Alabama always showed up against UT.

This kind of rivalry is what makes college football great. We're already losing too many of them because of conference realignments. Let's not lose the best one in the SEC just because some fans are too impatient and willing to throw away our history for some instant gratification of winning against inferior opponents.

I'm 70 years old and have seen the ebb and flow of college football, and I'm confident that Tennessee will make this a great rivalry once again. Let's not abandon it just because Alabama is having their day in the sun right now.

Excellent post. I am trying to think of a long-term top 20 program that does not have a long-term rival, that at some point had a frustratingly long domination over them. Can't come up with one. If UT can get competitive against the best again, national audiences like today's will work in their favor. Sports media like to cultivate the story line of long-term rivals. It gives them something to shape their stories around.

Alpha-Snail writes:

in response to rockypop:

I understand your logic and frustration, but at the same time I think it's terribly short-sided to throw out what is arguably the greatest historical rivalry in the SEC simply because Alabama is enjoying a time of great success.

There is simply too much history in this game - so much history in fact, that the SEC deemed the game important enough to keep when reorganizing the conference into two divisions. This was the one game that they refused to tamper with, because the "Third Saturday in October" was sacred to the conference.

It's now up to UT - just like it was to Alabama when they were down, to make this once again one of the greatest rivalries in college football. I don't remember Alabama fans clamoring to remove Tennessee from their schedule when they were having problems. In fact, they pretty much welcomed the opportunity to take their shot every year. And, in spite of the two program's different trajectories at the time, Alabama always showed up against UT.

This kind of rivalry is what makes college football great. We're already losing too many of them because of conference realignments. Let's not lose the best one in the SEC just because some fans are too impatient and willing to throw away our history for some instant gratification of winning against inferior opponents.

I'm 70 years old and have seen the ebb and flow of college football, and I'm confident that Tennessee will make this a great rivalry once again. Let's not abandon it just because Alabama is having their day in the sun right now.

Thanks for your insights to my initial post. I understand your point of view, however, I respectfully disagree. The crux of your argument is in defense of 'tradition.' As someone's who's been a fan since the '60's, I agree that tradition is important. However, teams don't play for tradition, they play for championships. Which is more important? Because for as far out as anyone can see, in this case they don't mix.

Think of it like this: Imagine peering into the not so distant future and seeing that UT lost the SEC East by just one game. If the string of Alabama wins continues unabated, would this 'tradition' be worth it? What if in another year UT became so good that they were a top 5 team, and they had a chance to win the National Championship. What are our chances of making it if we have to beat Bama twice? Are our chances better or worse? The answer's obvious.

When it comes to playing for championships, we're like the guy who enters the ring with one arm tied behind his back. UT is the only team with this handicap.

As for the SEC protecting it, that's all Dave Hart. If he were against it, it would likely be a much different story.

UT just hired a great coach. Please don't shoot him in the foot just because you don't like change.

TommyJack writes:

in response to gglardon50#417841:

I wouldn't hold my breath

The worm will turn. It always has. Saban will eventually retire and bama will go back to just being good. Book it.

Orange_Power_T writes:

in response to rockypop:

I understand your logic and frustration, but at the same time I think it's terribly short-sided to throw out what is arguably the greatest historical rivalry in the SEC simply because Alabama is enjoying a time of great success.

There is simply too much history in this game - so much history in fact, that the SEC deemed the game important enough to keep when reorganizing the conference into two divisions. This was the one game that they refused to tamper with, because the "Third Saturday in October" was sacred to the conference.

It's now up to UT - just like it was to Alabama when they were down, to make this once again one of the greatest rivalries in college football. I don't remember Alabama fans clamoring to remove Tennessee from their schedule when they were having problems. In fact, they pretty much welcomed the opportunity to take their shot every year. And, in spite of the two program's different trajectories at the time, Alabama always showed up against UT.

This kind of rivalry is what makes college football great. We're already losing too many of them because of conference realignments. Let's not lose the best one in the SEC just because some fans are too impatient and willing to throw away our history for some instant gratification of winning against inferior opponents.

I'm 70 years old and have seen the ebb and flow of college football, and I'm confident that Tennessee will make this a great rivalry once again. Let's not abandon it just because Alabama is having their day in the sun right now.

Agreed. You don't just abandon a rivalry because it's currently working against you. We've had our share of hay-day's and it's just currently working very well in Alabama's favor. Competing against teams like this just sets the bar that much higher and we must rise to the occasion. The one thing I know about college football is that it always runs in cycles- with every team regardless of conference. I really feel as though we are at the upturn of a really bad cycle. Our day will come again and I'm sure the team one the other side will be having conversations just as this.

southernbelle79 writes:

in response to Alpha-Snail:

Thanks for your insights to my initial post. I understand your point of view, however, I respectfully disagree. The crux of your argument is in defense of 'tradition.' As someone's who's been a fan since the '60's, I agree that tradition is important. However, teams don't play for tradition, they play for championships. Which is more important? Because for as far out as anyone can see, in this case they don't mix.

Think of it like this: Imagine peering into the not so distant future and seeing that UT lost the SEC East by just one game. If the string of Alabama wins continues unabated, would this 'tradition' be worth it? What if in another year UT became so good that they were a top 5 team, and they had a chance to win the National Championship. What are our chances of making it if we have to beat Bama twice? Are our chances better or worse? The answer's obvious.

When it comes to playing for championships, we're like the guy who enters the ring with one arm tied behind his back. UT is the only team with this handicap.

As for the SEC protecting it, that's all Dave Hart. If he were against it, it would likely be a much different story.

UT just hired a great coach. Please don't shoot him in the foot just because you don't like change.

You are right. Do we want tradition, or do we want championships? The SEC could put Alabama and UT in the same division of they want to preserve this game. Or give up this game and have us in different divisions. Trying to have it both ways doesn't make sense, if the goal is fairness of schedules and best shot at championships.

vfl76 writes:

in response to Alpha-Snail:

To insist on playing Bama ever dang year is not tradition, it's insanity...and stupidity.

No other SEC East school would do that. Why? Because it almost always means you have to win more games than everyone else just to take our division. It also means that on the rare year that we do win the division, we're likely to have to play them twice in one season. What are the odds of winning both? What are the chances of EVER playing for an National Championship? You do the math.

That's not a slight against Coach Jones or the UT program. Its reality. Replace 'UT' with 'Georgia,' 'Florida,' or 'South Carolina' and it would be the same for them.

Did you feel this same way between 1995 and 2001?

grumpyman writes:

I think this the the worst Tn. defense I have seen in the last seventy years.

ThirdCreek writes:

in response to Tao_of_Tennessee:

Excellent post. I am trying to think of a long-term top 20 program that does not have a long-term rival, that at some point had a frustratingly long domination over them. Can't come up with one. If UT can get competitive against the best again, national audiences like today's will work in their favor. Sports media like to cultivate the story line of long-term rivals. It gives them something to shape their stories around.

How about Notre Dame and USC? USC dominated the rivalry for the period of 2002-2011, beating the Irish nine out of ten times including some blowout wins.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notre_Dame–USC_football_rivalry

southernbelle79 writes:

Alabama has 23 SEC championships. UT has 13, and whoever is next (look it up) has 12. Logic and probability theory suggests, all things considered, to the extent UT wants to win championships, they do not want to pick Alabama every year as their non-division SEC opponent. The rest of the teams in the eastern division, are happy that we do.

Goodgriefcharliebrown writes:

in response to gglardon50#417841:

I wouldn't hold my breath

How true. Tennessee continues to be the best of the worst in the SEC. Bama made Hutch their b itch

Atypical_liberal (Inactive) writes:

in response to Tao_of_Tennessee:

Won 10 out of 12 what?

My mistake. I should have said from 1995 to 2006, Tennessee beat Alabama, in football, 10 out of 12 games. Throwing in the towel on one of the greatest rivalries in college football is not what the 2nd most successful program in the SEC should do.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Goodgriefcharliebrown:

How true. Tennessee continues to be the best of the worst in the SEC. Bama made Hutch their b itch

That is hardly fair, not that it was your intent to be fair. CBJ took the Vols to Bama under probably the worst circumstances they will ever again face down there, with a QB who had a bad thumb going in and a backup who hadn't played a down in college football, both throwing to young receivers who are still learning about playing at this level. After next year, the Vols won't be nearly as completely outmanned by a team with experienced quality depth and playmakers. Bama was on a roll and needed a great performance to stay ahead of a surging Oregon team in the BCS standings. Even most of us longtime fans didn't expect the Vols to win, though we could have hoped for a better performance. The Vols are still on track for the kind of season we expected, and if they can continue to recruit well, better days are ahead.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to grumpyman:

I think this the the worst Tn. defense I have seen in the last seventy years.

Hmmm, what UT team were you watching LAST year? They looked pretty bad yesterday--against the #1 team in the country, no less--but maybe you forgot they held SC to about 15 yards and no 1st downs in the 4th quarter just last week! Your post fits your screen name.

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