Saban Confirms He Let Up Against the Vols

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    Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

    Remember when Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt said last week that Alabama had to stop themselves from scoring 100 points on some teams? Looks like his statement might’ve been more true than many expected.

    According to Ben Jones of the Tuscaloosa News, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said on Thursday that he didn’t really want to score any more points against Tennessee and essentially “called off the dogs” on the Vols. Alabama’s 58 points against the Vols were the most the Tide had ever scored against Tennessee, and Saban was content with that total.

    The 58 points Alabama scored against Tennessee isn’t even the most points the Tide have scored this season. They put up 62 on Ole Miss and dropped 65 points on Arkansas. Scoring 58 points proved to be a breeze for this Tide squad.

    Jones would also go on to note that Saban said he respected Jeremy Pruitt — who used to coach under Saban for over half a decade at Alabama — and that Tennessee’s players “have moms and dads too.”

    All 58 of Alabama’s points came in the first three quarters of play, and 28 of those 58 points came in the first quarter. The Tide did go more conservative in the fourth quarter, running just 16 plays and calling a pass on only one of them.

    As a whole on the day, Alabama amassed 545 yards and averaged 7.4 yards per play against Tennessee. But it could’ve been worse had the Tide kept playing their starters in the final quarter of play.

    As for Tennessee, the Vols’ 21 points against Alabama in the 58-21 loss marked the most points UT had put up on the Crimson Tide since they won 51-43 in a five-overtime thriller in 2003. The 21 points were the most Tennessee had scored on Alabama in regulation since a 35-24 victory in 2001. It also marked only the second time since 2004 that Tennessee had managed to score 20 or more points against Alabama.

    But all those “firsts” mean little if the other team puts up 58 points on the scoreboard. And according to Saban, it could’ve been worse if he had actually wanted to keep running up the score.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.