(1) Alabama - 49, (9) Tennessee - 10
October 15, 2016
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts rushed
for 132 yards and three touchdowns to key a dominant
running attack while the Crimson Tide defense and special
teams contributed touchdowns of their own as the top-ranked
University of Alabama football team (7-0 overall; 4-0 in
the Southeastern Conference) decisively defeated the
ninth-ranked Volunteers of the University of Tennessee
(5-2 overall; 2-2 in the SEC), 49-10, on Saturday
afternoon before a capacity crowd of 102,455 at Neyland
Stadium on the UT campus.
Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough (9) breaks an 85-yard
touchdown run during the second half of Alabama's SEC
football game at Tennessee, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, at
Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. Scarbrough finished
with 109 yards and a touchdown on five carries.
Photo Credit - Vasha Huntfirstname.lastname@example.org
Hurts directed the Tide offense to five touchdowns, Eddie
Jackson returned a punt 79 yards for a score, and
free safety Ronnie Harrison returned an interception 58
yards for a touchdown as Alabama moved ahead early and
remained in command all afternoon. The Alabama defense
limited the explosive Tennessee offense to a season-low
163 yards, including season lows in rushing (32 yards)
and passing (131). Meanwhile, the Tide offense grinded
out 594 yards of total offense, the most in a game since
2010 (591 vs. San Jose State) and the 16th-most yards
gained in a single game in Alabama history (the most ever
by an Alabama team against Tennessee).
The Tide rushed for 438 yards against the Vols, the most
by an Alabama team since the Tide rushed for 457 yards
against Tennessee in a 56-28 win in 1986 in Knoxville.
Two Alabama players rushed for more than 100 yards in the
game as Hurts had 132 and three touchdowns while Scarbrough
finished with 109 and a touchdown on five carries. Hurts
completed 16 of 26 pass attempts for 143 yards, throwing
one interception. Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart had eight
catches for 54 yards and wide receiver Calvin Ridley had
five catches for 65 yards to lead the Tide.
Alabama's defense produced 10 tackles for loss, three
quarterback sacks, broke up six passes, intercepted a
pass and had numerous quarterback hurries in the game.
Free safety Ronnie Harrison led the impressive effort
with seven total tackles (six solos), intercepted a pass
that he returned 52 yards for a touchdown and broke up
two passes on the day. Linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton
had six tackles (five solos), including two for losses.
Cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick also had six tackles (four
Punter JK Scott punted four times for 200 yards, averaging
50.0 yards per boot, including two of more than 50 yards
and a long of 62.
For Tennessee, quarterback Joshua Dobbs completed 16 of 27
passes for 92 yards and one interception. Running back
Jalen Hurd had 28 yards on 13 carries while running back
Alvin Kamara rushed for 21 yards and a touchdown on eight
attempts. Wide receiver Josh Malone led the Vols with five
catches for 61 yards.
The teams exchanged punts in the early going after
Tennessee took the opening kickoff. Midway through
the first quarter, Alabama took possession at its own
nine-yard line following a penalty for an illegal block
in the back on Tennessee's second punt. The Tide march
91 yards in nine plays to a touchdown, on a drive capped
by a 29-yard touchdown by ArDarius Stewart. Stewart
caught a shovel pass for six yards on the second play
of the drive to the Tide 15, then Stewart took a short
pass from Hurts for six more to the Tide 21. Damien
Harris rushed for 12 yards to the Tide 33, then 18 more
to the Tennessee 49. Running back Josh Jacobs rushed for
13 yards to the Vols 36, then gained seven to the UT 29.
On the next play, Stewart took a handoff on a reverse
from Calvin Ridley, who had taken a shovel pass from
Hurts to start the play. The play was officially ruled
a rush by Stewart by the statisticians, for a 29-yard
touchdown run. Adam Griffith's point-after conversion
kick was good, giving Alabama a 7-0 lead with 3:17 left
in the first quarter.
A 28-yard punt return by Tennessee's Alvin Kamara, combined
with a 15-yard personal foul on a late hit out of bounds,
set up the Vols at the Tide 40 to start a possession with
1:00 left in the first quarter. But the threat ended
emphatically. Alabama free safety Ronnie Harrison
intercepted a Josh Dobbs pass at the Tide 42 and raced
untouched 58 yards to a touchdown with 14 seconds left
in the opening period. Griffith's kick was good, giving
Alabama a 14-0 lead. It marked Alabama's eighth defensive
touchdown of the 2016 season (leading the nation) and the
Tide's 10th non-offensive touchdown this season.
Tennessee's defense created a scoring opportunity early
in the second quarter. Vols defensive end Derek Barnett
sacked Hurts for a loss of 14 at the Tide 11 on a
third-down play, forcing a fumble that was recovered by
defensive lineman Quay Picou. Kamara took it in from
there on two rushing plays. Kamara gained four yards on
first down to the Tide seven, then took a handoff up the
middle for the remaining seven yards and a touchdown.
Aaron Medley's point-after kick was good and the Tide
lead was cut to 14-7 with 9:41 left in the second quarter.
Alabama responded with a scoring drive, moving 65 yards
in six plays. From the Tide 35, Harris kick-started the
drive with three consecutive rushes, gaining 13 on the
first play of the drive, four more on the second play to
the UT 48, and losing two yards to the 50. A pass to
Stewart gained nine yards on a third-and-eight play to
a first down at the UT 41. After a pass to Ridley lost
four yards, Hurts faked a handoff to Jacobs at left guard
and kept around right end, breaking free and racing 45
yards to a touchdown. Tight end Miller Forrestal set up
the score with a clearing block on the right side.
Griffith's extra-point kick was good, giving Alabama a
21-7 lead with 7:22 left in the second period.
A Tide march keyed by a 37-yard run by Hurts reached the
UT 12, but Alabama's attempt to extend their lead was
snuffed out when Bennett pressured Hurts, deflected his
pass, and intercepted the ball at the Tide 25. Bennett
returned the theft seven yards before Hurts dragged him
down at the UT 32 with 1:24 left in the half. The ensuing
possession yielded six yards and a punt as the Tide
defense forced a three-and-out by the UT offense for the
fifth time in the half.
Starting at its own 16, Alabama took the ball with 1:02
on the clock and managed a 64-yard drive in seven plays
to the Tennessee 20. Harris rushed twice for 17 yards to
start the drive before a 22-yard run by Jacobs reached
the UT 41 with 14 seconds left on the clock. A pass to
Ridley gained 12 to the UT 29 before Hurts rushed for
nine yards to the UT 20 to set up a 37-yard field goal
try by Griffith with two seconds left in the half.
Griffith's kick had plenty of distance, but it was wide
right and no good. That left the halftime score Alabama
21, Tennessee 7.
Through the first half, Alabama had dominated
statistically. The Tide rushed for 245 yards to Tennessee's
11; had a 309 to 41 edge in total offense; had 16 first
downs to Tennessee's six; and had limited the explosive
Vols offense to 2-of-10 on third downs while forcing seven
Tennessee punts. Hurts had 92 rushing yards in the half
while Harris had 72 on 11 carries.
Hurts became the first Alabama quarterback since Tyler
Watts in 2001 to eclipse 100 rushing yards twice in a
season on the opening drive of the second half, but that
possession ended in a punt. Alabama forced a UT punt on
the ensuing possession, a kick of only 16 yards that
sailed out of bounds at the Tide 49 with 10:10 left in
the third period. Hurts went to the air immediately,
hitting Stewart for 23 yards on a crossing pattern to
the UT 28. Harris gained five yards on first down to the
Vols 23. After an incomplete pass, Hurts took a keeper
for 21 yards to the UT two-yard line. On the next play,
Hurts faked a handoff up the middle and calmly kept around
right end behind good blocking for a two-yard touchdown
run. Griffith's conversion kick was true and Alabama led,
28-7, with 9:02 left in the third quarter.
Tennessee marched to a field goal on the next possession,
moving 49 yards in 10 plays. Dobbs completed all five
pass attempts on the drive for 43 of the 49 yards. The
drive stalled at the Tide 19 and Medley came in to kick
a 37-yard field goal with 4:03 left in the third quarter,
moving the score to Alabama leading 28-10.
Hurts opened it up on the first play of the next drive.
From the Tide 25, he hit Ridley on a deep post for 31
yards to the UT 44. On the next play, Harris took a
handoff at right guard for 14 yards and a first down
at the Tennessee 30. That play moved Alabama past 300
yards rushing in the game (306) with 3:41 left in the
third period. Ridley took a shovel pass for five to the
UT 25. Stewart took a pass from Hurts at the left side
for three yards to the UT 22. On third-and-two at the 22,
Scarbrough took a handoff up the middle for four yards and
a first down at the UT 18. A handoff to Jacobs lost six
to the UT 24, creating second-and-16. Hurts found Howard
wide open in the middle of the field for a gain of 23 yards
to the UT one-yard line. Hurts then kept to the right side
on a run-pass option, choosing to run for a yard and a
touchdown. Griffith's kick was good and Alabama led, 35-10,
following the eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive that ended
with 49 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
To that point in the game, the Tide was averaging 7.2
yards per first down play having gained 230 of the team's
447 total yards on first down plays (230 yards on 32 plays
including 128 rushing yards on 20 attempts for a 6.4-yard
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Tennessee punted.
Trevor Daniel's punt traveled 49 yards to the Tide 21 where
Eddie Jackson hauled it in, ran through two arm tackles
right after catching the ball, angled left and hit the
sideline with only Daniel to beat. Daniel tried to body
tackle Jackson low, but Jackson evaded that attempt and
broke free down the Alabama sideline to complete a 79-yard
punt return for a touchdown. Griffith kicked good and
Alabama led, 42-10, with 14:42 left in the fourth period.
The score marked Jackson's third touchdown of the season
(two punt returns and one interception return) and the
fifth touchdown of his career (three interception returns
and two punt returns).
After a Tennessee punt on the next possession, Scarbrough
took a handoff and raced around left tackle for an 85-yard
touchdown run. Griffith's kick was good, giving Alabama a
49-10 lead with 11:38 left in the fourth quarter. From that
point on, it was time for the reserves to fully take over.
That ended the scoring, in spite of Alabama making one
final drive deep into Tennessee territory late in the game.
The 39-point victory is the second-highest margin by either
team in the series, eclipsed only by a 51-0 Alabama win
in 1906. Only a pair of 35-point Alabama victories in 1963
(35-0) and 2013 (45-10) come close in the modern era.
Alabama continues its 2016 season Saturday, Oct. 22, by
hosting the Aggies of Texas A&M (6-0 overall; 4-0 in the
SEC) with kickoff slated for 2:30 p.m. Central Time. The
game will be televised by CBS Sports.