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RECAP: Alabama Dismantles Tennessee 45-7

Photo By Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics

Tuscaloosa, Ala. — It wasn’t as bad as many expected in the first half.

But then Alabama came to life. And when it did, the 100th Third Saturday in October got ugly in a hurry.

Jalen Hurts threw for 198 yards and a score. Calvin Ridley caught eight passes for 82 yards. And the Alabama defense pressured Jarrett Guarantano all night, coming up with four sacks.

It was another abysmal display for Tennessee’s offense, which still hasn’t scored since the second quarter of UT’s win over UMass.

John Kelly made the most of his opportunities, but he didn’t have many chances to move the ball. Kelly only had five touches in the first half. Jarrett Guarantano managed not to give the ball away again, but was never able to make a big play to get the offense moving.

The highlight for Tennessee was its defense. Alabama’s first two touchdowns game on fourth and goal from the one. And every time the Tide got inside the ten, Bob Shoop would turn up the pressure.

All Alabama had to do was give it to Bo Scarbrough, who leapt over the pile for two identical touchdowns in the first half.

Late in the first half, Alabama started to push the tempo. And when they starting running more plays and hustling to the line, Tennessee’s defense started wearing down quickly.

The Crimson Tide capped off the first half with a 6 play, 77 yard drive that lasted just 2:01.

The first drive to open the second half? 76 yards in 2:21.

When Hurts pushed the tempo, Tennessee couldn’t keep up. And when Trevor Daniel has to punt on six of the first seven possessions, it’s only a matter of time until fatigue sets in.

Three of UT’s five first half drives were three-and-outs. Bama, on the other hand, gained a first down on all but two of its drives.

But not all was lost. At least Tennessee ended its streak without a touchdown at twelve quarters.

To put it simply, Alabama had six touchdowns and Tennessee had nine punts. There’s not a way you can spin this game to look positive for the Vols.

But we’ll give it a shot.

A few players made nice efforts, especially early. Shawn Shamburger looks like he could be a very good player for Bob Shoop’s defense. However, his youth showed at times.

Shamburger finished with 12 tackles, leading the team. He also added a sack while Hurts was still in the game.

Rashaan Gaulden made a couple of nice plays, but he couldn’t do it all. He was one of the only players who could tackle Hurts in open space and cover the Tide’s receivers.

We’ll update this post with quotes from Butch Jones and Tennessee players following their media availability. You can watch Butch Jones’ press conference on the Rocky Top Insider Facebook page.

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