Game analysis: No. 1 Alabama 45, Tennessee 10
by Joe Medley
jmedley@annistonstar.com
Oct 26, 2013 | 1789 views |  0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood (83) hauls in a touchdown pass ahead of Tennessee defensive back Cameron Sutton. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood (83) hauls in a touchdown pass ahead of Tennessee defensive back Cameron Sutton. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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Offense

Alabama seems to have all facets of its game going.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper is once again giving Alabama perhaps the most dangerous quick screen in college football.

The offensive line is opening big holes for T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake and giving AJ McCarron plenty of time to wait for plays to develop.

We’re two weeks away from seeing Alabama tested by a good SEC defense, but it looks like the Tide has developed more than enough ways to move the ball and score.

Defense

In two weeks, Alabama’s secondary will see a quarterback who is accurate enough to hurt the Tide’s depleted secondary. On Saturday, they faced Tennessee’s Justin Worley, who overthrew wide-open receivers with chances to make big plays in the first quarter.

His inaccuracy meant that the Vols could not present a reliable dual threat to Alabama’s defense. It’s hard enough to move the ball against Alabama with a credible dual threat.

Special teams

Christion Jones kickoff returns — 49 and 57 yards — were the highlights. He went left and juked a tackler on one then went right and broke tackles on the other.

But Alabama gave up two similar returns, Dervin Young’s 44-yarder in the second quarter and 45-yarder in the third.

Coaching

This wasn’t a hard game for Alabama’s defensive staff.

Alabama’s offensive staff clearly saw issues in Tennessee’s secondary and attacked them quickly, throwing quick screens to Cooper on consecutive plays. The second one, on the right side, went for a 54-yard touchdown.

Alabama also found favorable matchups and coverage gaps for Kevin Norwood, twice as he delayed then crossed the line of scrimmage for a short dump that went for longer catch-and-run plays.

Overall

This wasn’t the year for the Alabama-Tennessee game to feel like a rivalry again. The Crimson Tide started this season at a much higher place and has made strides. For all of the strides Tennessee seemed to make in recent weeks, Alabama’s strides prevailed. We’re still a long way from another nickname game between these two schools, but seeing “Rocky Block” highlights before the game brought back memories.
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