The Third Saturday in October has proved to be problematic for Tennessee over the last 13 years. This year’s ‘Fourth’ Saturday in October was no different, as the Vols fell to No. 2 Alabama 48-17 for the 14th consecutive season.
Tennessee forced Alabama to punt on the very first possession of the game. The series was just about the only success Tennessee’s defense would have the remainder of the game, as Alabama punter Charlie Scott would only punt once more.
Alabama scored a touchdown on its next four possessions and on six of its next seven possessions. The Crimson Tide finished the game scoring on eight of their 11 possessions. Alabama’s defense also got in on the action courtesy of an Eric Gray fumble. Malachi Moore scooped it up and returned it 28-yards for the score.
Mac Jones threw for 297 yards on 17-of-22 passing to guide Alabama to a 28-10 lead a the half. He did not throw a touchdown or an interception, but he did rush for a touchdown. For the game, Jones finished 25-of-31 passing for 387 yards. He did not finish with a passing touchdown or an interception.
Jones’ rushing touchdown was one of four for Alabama. Najee Harris finished with 96 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. Brian Robinson Jr. scored Alabama’s other rushing touchdown.
Tennessee was able to put a touchdown on the board in the first half courtesy of a 38-yard passing touchdown from Jarrett Guarantano to Jalin Hyatt. The touchdown was the first of Hyatt’s career. He finished with two catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Guarantano found Hyatt in the third quarter to set up Tennessee’s second, and final touchdown of the game. Hyatt hauled in a 48-yard pass that would have gone for a touchdown had he not stepped out-of-bounds. On the next play, Guarantano found Josh Palmer for a 27-yard touchdown.
Guarantano finished the game 13-of-24 passing for 162 yards and two touchdowns. He did not throw an interception and added 22 rushing yards. Guarantano was not sacked on the afternoon.
Sophomore Brian Maurer finished out the game at quarterback. He scrambled for a first down on 3rd-and-13 to pick up a first down. Maurer completed his only pass for a gain of a yard.
Alabama’s offense was just as dominant in the second half. The Crimson Tide scored on all four of their possessions, two of which resulted in touchdowns, while the other two resulted in a field goal.
Tennessee gave up 587 yards of total offense on the afternoon. Alabama threw for 417 passing yards and rushed for 170 yards. The Vols were able to create one turnover when Trevon Flowers forced a fumble and Theo Jackson recovered it.
The Vols have a bye week next weekend following their third consecutive loss. Tennessee will travel to Arkansas following the open date to take on the Hogs. Kickoff between the Vols and Razorbacks is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.