Alabama football looked like it had won the game.
Kool-Aid McInstreet was racing toward the end zone, and even though he didn’t make it, the Crimson Tide was in control. Alabama took a last-minute lead on Saturday and the Tennessee Walls were about to deepen football on the field.
But wait. There was a flag. Pass the intervention on Alabama.
The drama was coming back. Shortly after, Tennessee tied the game.
Crimson Tide, whether at the beginning of the game or towards the end, just couldn’t get out of its way.
Tennessee took late advantage of a missed field goal and Walls kicked the game-winner on the buzzer to beat Alabama 52–49 at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee broke a 15-year losing streak to Alabama.
Here are the overview and takeaways from the game between No. 1 Alabama (6-1, 3-1 SEC) and No. 8 Tennessee (6-0, 3-0).
Defense struggles against Hendon Hooker & Company, out of business
Alabama was well aware of the speed with which the Vols offense operates. There were frequent discussions throughout the week. However knowing about it often didn’t matter.
The Crimson Tide struggled to slow down Tennessee’s fast-paced offense. Blink, and the volume had already run several plays. That fast pace kept Alabama from impressing Hooker, and the volume offense quickly began. Tennessee had already scored three touchdowns by the end of the first quarter.
Hookers and receivers continued to find soft spots in coverage, and Alabama struggled to find ways to disrupt the usually clean pockets for hookers. This gave Vol a fairly aggressive success.
Alabama eventually stopped bleeding and made some impressive plays. There were a few fourth-down stops and DeMarco Hales became the first defender to stop Hooker in almost 11 months. Dallas Turner also recovered a fumble for a touchdown.
Still, the defense couldn’t stop dropping plays of late, especially Jaleen Hayat. He cooked up a Crimson Tide secondary to get 207 yards and five touchdowns.
Tennessee then rolled into the field, ending with a game-winning kick in the final minute.
Discipline problems and mistakes set Alabama back early
It almost became silly how Alabama was finding ways to get penalized on a first-quarter drive.
First, there was a moratorium on kickoff returns. Tennessee had just taken a 14-7 lead and the Crimson Tide needed an answer. First on offensive play, second on penalty. Before Alabama could run another play, Crimson Tide had a false start. The drive only got worse from there. Combine the penalty with a Treshon Holden drop, and James Burnip soon had to exit Alabama’s end field.
The Crimson Tide reached seven penalties for the game by the Burnips punt. There was more than five minutes left in the first quarter. In the first half alone, Alabama had nine penalties for 71 yards.
They got in the way of an Alabama team that had already had too many problems facing a talented Tennessee team at a hostile Neyland Stadium.
As far as mistakes go, none was more dazzling than Quandarius Robinson’s punt return mistake when he tried to pick up a loose ball and Tennessee recovered. Immediately after the turnover, Vols took a 28-10 lead with 11:41 in the first half.
Bryce Young’s shoulder is more than fine
Was the young man injured recently? He certainly didn’t look like a player recovering from a shoulder injury.
After missing last week’s game versus Texas A&M, the current Heisman Trophy winner was back in his old tricks as Alabama quarterback: miss defenders, extend plays, throw footballs into tight windows. . ,