No. 1 Alabama dominates Tennessee yet again

By The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 21, 2017 at 9:13 PM
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Top-ranked Alabama had nearly 500 more yards than Tennessee and extended its winning streak over the Volunteers to 11 with a 45-7 victory on Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama's stingy defense allowed just 108 total yards and held redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, making his second career start, to 44 yards on 9-of-16 passing. He was intercepted once, as Alabama held Tennessee's offense scoreless.

The Crimson Tide's balanced offense rolled to 604 yards and scored four touchdowns on the ground.

Alabama (8-0, 5-0) led 21-0 at halftime and didn't waste time adding to its lead to open the second half. Quarterback Jalen Hurts lead the Crimson Tide down the field and capped a eight-play, 76-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Irv Smith. Jr. to make it 28-0. It was the first career touchdown for Smith.

Tennessee's first touchdown in three games came by way of a 97-yard interception return by linebacker Daniel Bituli. Bituli intercepted a pass from Alabama backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, a true freshman, and outran the Crimson Tide's offense into the end zone to pull the Volunteers (3-4, 0-4) within 28-7.

Tagovailoa got some redemption after his pick-six. Tagovailoa broke free up the middle for a 23-yard touchdown run, juking defenders on his way to the end zone to make it 38-7 early in the fourth quarter.

Hurts completed 13 of 21 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown. Tagovailoa was 9 of 12 for 134 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He connected with Henry Ruggs III for a 60-yard touchdown to make it 45-7 late in the fourth quarter.

Running back Damien Harris led the ground attack with 13 carries for 72 yards and a score. Bo Scarbrough scored twice on nine carries.

Alabama's fourth possession of the game was a wacky one. Hurts found Smith for a big gain that looked like a touchdown before Smith fumbled out of the back of the end zone. However, the turnover was negated because of a personal call penalty on Tennessee that gave Alabama the ball at the 1-yard line. After the teams exchanged penalties, Alabama finally punched it in with a 1-yard score from Scarbrough to make it 14-0.

NOTES: Alabama RB Damien Harris has 10 rushing touchdowns this season. ... Alabama DL Da'Shawn Hand (MCL) was held out for the third straight game. Hand was on the sideline in street clothes. ... Alabama is off next Saturday for its bye week. The Crimson Tide hosts LSU on Nov. 4. ... Tennessee plays at Kentucky next Saturday. ... Tennessee RB John Kelly rushed 12 times for 63 yards to lead the Vols' offense.

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