Alabama 34, Tennessee 14

Oct. 26, 2002 at 11:34 PM
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Cornerback Gerald Dixon set the tone by returning a fumble 68 yards for a touchdown 3 1/2 minutes into the game Saturday night as Alabama defeated 15th-ranked Tennessee, 34-14, to end years of frustration against the Volunteers.

It was the first of six turnovers forced by the Crimson Tide, who snapped a seven-game losing streak against Tennessee, their longest against any opponent.

Alabama (6-2, 3-1) also pulled into a first-place tie in the SEC West with Louisiana State, which was routed by Auburn earlier Saturday. Alabama, however, is not eligible for the SEC championship game because of NCAA probation.

Tennessee (4-3, 1-3 SEC East) suffered its second straight loss, again denying coach Phillip Fulmer his 100th career victory. The Volunteers have lost to Florida, Georgia and Alabama in the same season for the first time in school history.

Alabama kept Tennessee's offense scoreless until Leonard Scott scored on a 13-yard run late in the second quarter to make it 24-14.

The Volunteers got their other touchdown on Mark Jones' 87-yard kickoff return. Santonio Beard had scored on a 14-yard run to give the Crimson Tide a 14-0 lead with 52 seconds left in the first half.

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