At Tuscaloosa's Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama was defeated, 35-21, by the 11th-ranked Vols. The loss dropped Alabama's record to 3-4 on the season and 2-3 in SEC games. .It is the first time in Crimson Tide football history that Alabama has lost seven straight games to an opponent.
Bama will be open next Saturday, then will host LSU on November 3 for Homecoming.
Alabama scored a touchdown on the final play of the third period to take a 24-21 lead going to the final quarter, which has been a disastrous quarter for Bama as of late. In the fourth quarter Tennessee dominated as completely as one team can dominate another. The Tide defense was never able to make a stop in the final stanza. Tennessee had touchdown drives that took 17 plays and then 10 plays. The Vols kept the ball all but 1:27 of the final period as the Alabama offense was able to run a total of only seven plays (four after the game was out of reach) for a total of minus two yards. Meanwhile, Tennessee piled up seven first downs, 48 yards rushing, 103 yards passing on five-of-eight, and, most important, two touchdowns. The Vols converted six straight third down plays before being stopped. And after being stopped Tennessee ran on fourth down for the clinching touchdown.
The game ended with Tennessee killing the clock inside the Alabama 10-yard line after the Tide was unable to muster anything on a futile, last-ditch effort. That kneel-down play by the Vols gave them 28 plays in the fourth quarter.
Although tailback Ahmaad Galloway scored a go-ahead touchdown for Alabama on the final play of the third quarter, it is possible that Galloway lost his starting position in this game. The score was set up by a 79-yard run by Santonio Beard, who finished as Bama's leading rusher with 10 carries for 141 yards. Beard started the second half. After his long run to the 11-yard line, Beard was lifted to give him a rest and Galloway got the touchdown with two runs.
Tennessee had taken a lead on the game's opening drive. The Vols went 69 yards in seven plays for a 7-0 lead. Alabama answered with a nice drive, but had to settle for a 26-yard Neal Thomas field goal. Early in the second quarter the Vols made it 14-3 with a six-play, 82-yard drive.
Although he did not have one of his better games, Bama quarterback Tyler Watts twice connected with wide receiver Sam Collins for touchdown passes. The first, a 29-yarder, capped an eight-play, 85-yard drive that closed the game to 14-10 at halftime. The second, a six-yard toss on which Collins made an excellent catch, gave Alabama's its first lead in the game. It came at the end of Bama's second half opening drive, which took 10 plays and covered 80 yards.
Watts finished with only 10 completions in 23 attempts for 165 yards. Three Tiders had two receptions each, Freddie Milons for 46 yards, Collins for 35, and Galloway for 13.
Because of its excellent fourth quarter, Tennessee dominated statistically. The Vols had 23 first downs to Alabama's 13. Tennessee had 45 rushing attempts for 187 yards, Bama 31 runs for 163 yards. The Vols completed 21 of 28 passes for 293 yards, Alabama 10 of 23 for 165. Tennessee had 73 plays for 480 yards, an average of 6.6 yards per play, while the Tide had only 54 plays for 328 yards, 6.1 yards per play. Although Tennessee fumbled twice, the Vols recovered both and there were no turnovers in the game. One strength for Alabama was the punting of Lane Bearden, who booted six times for a 46.2 yards-per-kick average.
Alabama Head Coach Dennis Franchione said, "The kids played their hearts out. (Tennessee) had two drives in the fourth quarter that put the game away…They made third and long five times. We needed to get a stop on one of those drives."