Yesterday in Tuscaloosa, AL the long-standing Tennessee-Alabama rivalry continued. The game reminded me of many I remember growing up: low score, lots of defense, and field goals. Unfortunately for me this one ended with Bama on top of the Vols 12-10.
I am disappointed with the loss. I really hoped this would be another upset week for the Vols. A win over Alabama is always sweet, but knocking off the #2 BCS team would have made it even sweeter. Still, I’m not too upset. The Vols played a great game and have proven they are a real threat on the field.
Offensively the Vols performed fairly well. QB Jonathan Crompton was 21-of-36 for 265 yards and a TD and an interception. The Vols never really got the running game going. Montario Hardesty managed a couple of good runs late, but ended the day with only 48 yards on 18 carries. Freshman Bryce Brown carried 11 times for 35 yards.
The Vols defense once again played very well. They held Alabama to only 120 yards passing and 136 rushing. Bama sensation Mark Ingram was held to 99 yards on 18 carries. That’s pretty impressive considering he rushed for 246 yards the previous week against South Carolina. Give the UT defense lots of credit as well for keeping Alabama out of the end zone. The Tide was held to only 4 field goals in the game.
The thorn in Tennessee’s side Saturday was with special teams. Kicker Daniel Lincoln missed a 49 yard field goal attempt just before halftime and had 2 attempts blocked in the second half. The second one would have been the game winner. Of course I have to give credit to Alabama’s special teams for the blocks. Both kicks were low and Bama’s Terrence Cody was able to get his hand up and block both.
Still, I can’t complain about the game. The Vols played well and really limited the Tide on offense. This game should give Vol fans some hope for the remainder of the season, which should not be as difficult as the first half. There is still lots of room for improvement, but the Vols are on the right track.