Tide Put Game Away Early Vs. Vols

When Tennessee kicked a third quarter field goal in the Volunteers' 45-10 loss to Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday, it ended a streak of the Crimson Tide scoring 104 unanswered points. After Kentucky scored at the 1:10 mark of the third quarter in its 48-7 loss, Bama shut out Arkansas 52-0 and had a 35-0 lead over the Vols until the 12:53 mark of the third quarter.

The streak is the fifth longest in program history, with the top spot being held by the 1961 team that outscored opponents 195-0 through seven games.

Alabama's 35-0 halftime lead wasn't typical, but the Crimson Tide has had the lead at intermission 73 times in Nick Saban's six-and-a-half-year Bama career. Alabama's record in those games is 70-3.

For the ninth time in its last 12 games, Alabama has held its opponent scoreless in the first half. In addition to today's game, the Crimson Tide shut out Arkansas (Oct. 19, 2013), Kentucky (Oct. 12, 2013), Georgia State (Oct. 5, 2013), Ole Miss (Sept. 28, 2013), Colorado State (Sept. 21, 2013), Notre Dame (Jan. 7, 2013), Auburn (Nov. 24, 2012) and Western Carolina (Nov. 17, 2012) during the first two quarters of play.

Under Saban, the Crimson Tide has held opponents to 10 points or fewer 47 times since the start of the 2007 season. Alabama has held 7-of-8 opponents to 10 points or less in 2013 after limiting seven of its opponents to 10 points or less in 2012, four of which were shutouts. The Tide was successful in holding opponents in the 0-10 point range in nine games in 2011 and eight times in 2010. Alabama limited opponents to that range seven times in both 2008 and 2009, and in 2007 posted two games in which it held opponents to 0-10 points. Alabama has shut out the opposition 12 times during the Saban era.

Since the start of the 2009 season, no defense has allowed fewer touchdowns than the Crimson Tide. Alabama's defense has surrendered just 78 touchdowns over the last 62 games. Entering Saturday's games, the Football Bowl Subdivision average during that span was 191 touchdowns allowed.

Alabama leads the series with Tennessee, 50-38-7, in a series that dates back to the 1901 season. (On the field it is 51-37-8.) The Crimson Tide has won the last seven meetings, which is the first seven-game winning streak in the series since Alabama won seven in a row from 1986 through 1992.

For the 17th consecutive game, Alabama recorded at least one rushing touchdown, and has had multiple scores on the ground in 15 of those 17 contests. T.J. Yeldon recorded a career-high three rushing scores against Tennessee.

With Amari Cooper's 54-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, Alabama has scored in 164 consecutive games – the longest streak in program history.

Through the first two games of the 2013 season, Alabama was out-gained by 66 yards of total offense. Over the past five contests, the Crimson Tide has out-gained its opposition by 1,521 yards (2,928 yards to 1,407).

Wide receiver Kevin Norwood reached the 100-yard receiving milestone for the first time in his career, finishing the game with 112 yards, including a long of 34, and one touchdown.

Alabama has not allowed a sack since the third quarter of the Ole Miss game on Sept. 28. That is four straight games without a sack and part of a fifth game, spanning a total of 17 quarters.

Alabama is 57-0 since the start of the 2008 season when rushing for at least 140 yards. The Crimson Tide recorded 204 yards on the ground in the win over Tennessee, led by Kenyan Drake's 89-yard outing.

Landon Collins' 89-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter against Tennessee was the fifth longest in program history. It was also the first interception and first touchdown for the sophomore strong safety and the 34th non-offensive touchdown in the Saban era. Collins was replacing the injured Vinnie Sunseri. Sunseri had two interception returns for touchdowns this season before going out with an ACL tear last week.

Sunseri, who is out for the season, was on the sideline in a warm-up suit and on crutches. He was actively supporting his teammates.

Ryan Kelly, who had missed three complete games after being injured against Ole Miss, was back in his starting position at center for Bama. Chad Lindsay had replaced Kelly as the starter in the last three games.

Nose tackle Brandon Ivory missed Saturday's game for medical reasons. His spot in the starting line-up was taken by freshman A'Shawn Robinson. Making his first appearance in an Alabama uniform late in the game was freshman defensive lineman Dee Liner, who prior to this week had been expected to be redshirted this season.

With their NFL teams having an open weekend, former Tide players now in the professional ranks attending the Tennessee game included Robert Lester, Josh Chapman, Courtney Upshaw, and Terrence Cody. Cody got a particularly robust welcome from fans who remembered his 2009 block of a Tennessee field goal try on the final play of a game won 12-10 by Bama.

Also attending the game was former Tide star Ozzie Newsome, now general manager of the Baltimore Ravens. His son, Michael, is a walk-on defensive lineman for the Tide.

Honorary Tide captains were former wide receiver Dennis Homan and former offensive lineman Jerry Duncan. Duncan also served as sideline reporter for the Alabama radio broadcast for many years and is famously remembered for boasting before a Tennessee game in Knoxville that he had spotted Ol' Smokey, the Vols' blue tick hound mascot, and that if "I had my rifle I believe I could pick him off from here."

Game captains were quarterback A.J. McCarron, linebacker C.J. Mosley, and defensive end Ed Stinson.

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