Notes From Tide's Win Over Tennessee
Alabama now has a 46-38-7 advantage in the football series against Tennessee. It was the first time the Tide had back-to-back victories against the Vols since 1991 and 1992. In 1992 Bama went on to an undefeated season and national championship.
The win was the Tide's first over Tennessee in Knoxville since a 34-13 decision in 2002.
No one was talking anything beyond the next game following the Saturday night contest, but the win gives Alabama(5-0 in Southeastern Conference games) a two-game lead over LSU (3-2 after the Tigers lost to Georgia in Baton Rouge Saturday afternoon) in the SEC Western Division.
Though not as decisively as many games, Alabama continued its season-long scoring advantage in the first quarter and first half. Bama led Tennessee 6-3 at the end of the first quarter to give the Tide a 101-6 lead in points in the first eight games of the year. At halftime it was Alabama 13-3, making the cumulative advantage after two quarters this year 184-23.
Alabama has nine consecutive victories going back to last year's Independence Bowl win over Colorado. Bama also has more wins this year than in all of 2007, when the Tide finished 7-6. Alabama's nine-game winning streak is second longest in the nation (along with Utah), trailing Penn State and Texas Tech (both with 10).
The 8-0 start to the Alabama season is the best in Coach Nick Saban's career as a head coach. Saban is now 4-1 vs. Tennessee, including 2-0 at Alabama.
Saturday's game was Alabama's 56th when ranked second in the nation in the Associated Press poll. (Alabama was ranked second to Texas in all polls last week.) The victory improved Alabama's record to 46-7-2 when ranked number two in the AP poll. Bama has a 13-game winning streak with a number two ranking.
The Capital One Bowl had representatives at the game. The Capital One Bowl is played on January 1 in Orlando, Fla., and matches a team from the Southeastern Conference against a team from the Big 10.
Quarterback John Parker Wilson joined regular Alabama captains center Antoine Caldwell and safety Rashad Johnson. Alabama won the toss and elected to receive.
Alabama placekicker Leigh Tiffin had three field goals in the game, giving him 46 for his career, fourth best in Alabama history. It was the ninth time in his Bama career Tiffin had three field goals in a game. His career high is four, done three times (Tennessee in 2007, Mississippi State in 2007, and Clemson this year).
There had been much pre-game speculation on whether Tennessee might use the Vols' all-star safety, Eric Berry, on offense in a tailback situation as Houston Nutt does in his offense. Berry did get in on offense in the first half, but as a pass receiver. He caught a quick pass, but was run down by Bama nose tackle Lorenzo Washington for only a three-yard gain.
Alabama had radiant heaters on the sidelines. The temperature had been predicted to fall into the 40s during the game. The heaters were turned on.
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