Cooper Keeps Moving Up In Record Book

Alabama’s first offensive play against Tennessee Saturday in Knoxville evoked pleasant memories for Crimson Tide fans and anguish for those on the other side familiar with Bama’s previous success.

Alabama opened its 34-20 win over Tennessee with an 80-yard touchdown pass, Blake Sims throwing a short swing pass to Amari Cooper, who took it down the sideline untouched for an early 6-0 Bama lead.

It was at least the third time the Crimson Tide has started its offense with a pass of at least 80 yards for a touchdown against Tennessee. The other two occurrences, both at Legion Field in Birmingham: an 80-yard pass from quarterback Gary Rutledge to wide receiver Wayne Wheeler on Oct. 20, 1973, and a 90-yard pass by quarterback Jeff Dunn to receiver Pierre Goode on Oct. 17, 1987.

Cooper’s 224 receiving yards set a new Alabama record for receiving yards in a game, breaking the old mark of 210 set by Julio Jones against Tennessee in 2010.

Here are notes from Alabama’s game at Neyland Stadium Saturday night:

Cooper has 71 catches for 1,132 yards this season. The number of catches is second in Alabama records behind Jones’s 78 catches in 2010. Cooper’s yardage is second by one yards to Jones, who had 1,133 yards.

In career Alabama records, Cooper has moved up to third in receptions with 175 (D.J. Hall had 194 from 2004-07 and Jones 179 from 2008-10) and second in receiving yards with 2,868, which is 56 yards behind Hall’s 2,923. Cooper passed Jones to move into second place on his first catch of the night, the 80-yard touchdown.

Cooper has nine touchdown receptions this year, two behind the school record of 11, which he set last season.

Cooper’s score meant that Bama had continued its scoring streak, which is now at 177 games, the longest in program history.

Cooper finished with nine receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns. It marked the first time the Vols had surrendered more than 150 yards receiving to an opponent since Oct. 20, 2012, when Tennessee gave up 162 yards. The receiver? Amari Cooper.

Alabama led at intermission in the game by a 27-10 score. The Crimson Tide is now 80-5 under Coach Nick Saban when Bama has the halftime lead.

The win was the eighth in a row for Alabama against the Vols. The Tide now has an on-the-field record of 52-37-8 against Tennessee. It was the fourth consecutive win for Bama in Knoxville.

With its 34 points, Alabama has now scored 30 or more points in its last five games against the Vols and Bama has outscored UT 201-59 in the period.

Tennessee wore orange jerseys and pants for the first time since the Oct. 15, 1988, Alabama game. Bama won that game, 28-20.

Tennessee was without quarterback Justin Worley, who was injured in the Vols’ loss to Ole Miss last week.

Missing in action for Alabama were linebacker Reuben Foster, who had been one of Bama’s players of the week for his tackles on kickoffs last Saturday, and Christion Jones, wide receiver and kick/punt return specialist. Both were dressed out. Jones reportedly had a minor foot injury and Foster a shoulder bruise.

When Cam Robinson suffered what appears to be an ankle injury early I,n the second half, Leon Brown moved to his left tackle spot and Bradley Bozeman moved into the right guard position.

When Landon Collins was injuredJarrick Williams took over his safety job with Geno Smith moving to star.

Amari Cooper had 185 receiving yards in the first quarter, the most by any Southeastern Conference receiver in the last 10 years.

Alabama had scored 93 consecutive points against SEC foes before Tennessee scored a touchdown late in the second quarter.

Captains for Alabama were safety Landon Collins, fullback Jalston Fowler, and offensive guard Arie Kouandjio

Attendance was 102,455.

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