The Senior linebacker from Bessemer's Jess Lanier High led fifth-ranked Alabama to their seventh straight victory, totaling 11 tackles (6 solo), including 1.5 for losses, a fumble recovery and an interception on the game's final play.
"Total team effort," DeMeco Ryans said. "It took a lot of heart. We left out heart out on the field; that's what it takes.
Ryans, who also plays on special teams, recovered Lucas Taylor's muffed punt in the third quarter, setting the Bama offense up for its first of two field goals.
When Tennessee had first and goal from the 9-yard line and two plays before Roman Harper forced the Cory Anderson fumble that turned the game, Ryans forced Tennessee tailback Arian Foster back into the middle of the field, tripping him up with Jeremy Clark helping finish off the play.
"Meco was really fired up today and he did a great job leading us," Harper said. The only thing I can say about Meco is he took my pick at the end other than that he did a great job leading us."