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Tennessee Stat Book
Tyler Bray loses points for his two interceptions, including a particularly ugly one in the first half. The Vols' margin for error was razor-thin and turnovers didn't help the cause. Receivers didn't always help, either, but Bray struggled to find open men down the field. His completion percentage hovered near 50 percent.
Running backs C
It's tough for anyone to run against Alabama's defense, and the Vols found little success Saturday. Marlin Lane, pushed into a larger role with Rajion Neal injured, had nearly as many yards receiving (48) as he did rushing (55).
Wide receivers/tight ends C
Justin Hunter's drop just before halftime snuffed out an opportunity for a valuable score, but he later caught a nice 44-yard pass over the middle. Tight end Mychal Rivera's 43-yard catch in the second quarter included some hard running. Cordarrelle Patterson wasn't as involved in the offense as Tennessee had hoped.
Offensive line C
Alabama put pressure on Bray, but it wasn't the nightmare that the Tide had wreaked on other opponents this season. The Vols needed to get more traction in the running game, difficult as it is against Alabama.
Defensive line C
The line at least flushed Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron from the pocket on numerous occasions, and both Maurice Couch and Darrington Sentimore notched sacks. At the same time, Alabama won enough battles up front to rush for more than 200 yards.
On the brightside, A.J. Johnson posted a game-high 14 tackles. On the downside, the Vols' defense was gashed again — this time to the tune of 44 points and 539 yards on 67 plays. The Tide collected 233 yards on the ground and 306 through the air, much of it coming at the expense of UT's linebackers.
Free safety Byron Moore, trailing the play by 10 yards, had a front row seat for Amari Cooper's first touchdown. Cornerback Justin Coleman, splashing onto the grass, fell down running stride-for-stride with Cooper on his second touchdown. Another game, more blown assignments and missed tackles. Bama's McCarron threw for a career-high 306 yards.
Special Teams B
Other than giving up a 32-yard punt return to Bama's Cyrus Jones, the unit was solid overall. Kicker Michael Palardy nailed both of his field goal attempts, one from 32 yards and the other from 21.
The frustrating defensive breakdowns were back again, and players' lack of comfort in the defense seemed more pronounced than ever.
Tennessee hung around for a bit and could have even made things a little more interesting in the second half if some breaks had gone its way. But the better team — perhaps the overwhelmingly better team — won on Saturday. The Vols must find a way to bridge the talent gap with Alabama if it wants to stop the Tide's growing win streak in the series.