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Report Card: No. 4 Alabama 34 Tennessee 20

Jalen Hurd-1-2

 Running Backs

Daniel: The Vols were a little healthier and it showed. Marlin Lane found the corner for a big 44-yard run that set up UT’s first score and got the Vols some momentum and life in the game. Jalen Hurd had some tough runs and finished the evening with 59 yards on 16 runs to go along with 27 yards receiving. Dobbs certainly helped the run game, but even taking away his 75 yards on the ground, the backs still accounted for 107 yards rushing, which is significantly more than Alabama averages giving up on the ground per game. This was more the run game that many envisioned before the season, having two backs that can be productive and the offensive line not dominating, but doing enough to find them a little room and then the coaches scheming up ways to get them the ball in space. Grade: B+

Houston: Jalen Hurd and Marlin Lane had a combined 25 touches for 134 total yards. That’s a very respectable 5.36 yards per touch for the duo who both appeared to be healthy in this game for the first time in a long time. In fact, this my have been the healthiest Hurd and Lane have been at the same time all season and their production would seem to support such a claim. Jalen Hurd ran extremely hard all night and really fought Alabama defenders for tough yards when Tennessee needed them. He was also utilized as a receiver more than has previously been shown. Tennessee was able to find him with swing passes, using them almost as extended handoffs. Hurd would finish with six catches for 27 yards. If the offensive line can build upon their performance in this game, then there is no reason to believe that the running backs wouldn’t be able to do the same. This was a very good performance by these two considering the quality of the opponent. Grade: A-

Reed: Marlin Lane is finally getting healthier and he provided a big spark. Jalen Hurd averaged close to four yards per touch and consistently moved the ball down the field. As Daniel noted, UT’s running backs alone accounted for significantly more rushing yards than Bama allows on average. If this group can turn in four similar performances down the stretch, the Vols have a great shot at bowling. Grade: B+

Average Grade: B+

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