The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Alabama Crimson Tide at Tennessee Volunteers
Although it may not have been a perfect win for Alabama, it certainly was a dominating.
The Crimson Tide's 48-17 victory in the Third Saturday in October was really never in doubt. After its initial possession quickly stalled out, Alabama scored touchdowns on its next four drives.
Being able to plug in numerous reserves and get some valuable experience was a nice bonus.
Player of the game: Mac Jones set an Alabama record with 19-consecutive completions after closing last week’s Georgia game with eight straight and starting Saturday’s contest with 11 in a row. Overall, Jones was 25-for-31 for 387 through the air, adding a one-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter, and was pulled in the third quarter. With a 185.5 passer rating, he's at 212.8 for the season. LSU's Joe Burrow set the NCAA record last season at 202.0.
Play of the game: Freshman safety Malachi Moore forced a fumble and recovered the ball to take it 28 yards for a touchdown. The fumble recovery for a score was Alabama’s first since the Tennessee matchup last season on Oct. 19 when Trevon Diggs picked up a fumble at the goal line and returned it 100-plus yards for a Crimson Tide touchdown.
Statistic of the game: Alabama’s 48-17 victory over Tennessee was the Crimson Tide’s 29th consecutive victory over an SEC Eastern Division opponent, dating back to a 35-21 loss at then-No. 19 South Carolina on Oct. 9, 2010.
• Sophomore wide receiver John Metchie III stepped up big-time, catching seven passes for a game-best 151 yards, including a long of 45 yards.
• Alabama's kickers had their best day of the season. Will Reichard made made both of his field goals, all of his extra-point attempts and averaged 57.2 yards per kickoff, including three touchbacks. Charlie Scott made have secured the punting duties. He only averaged 34.5 yards on two attempts, but he put both inside the 20. Coming in, Alabama had does that four times all season. Alabama also recovered yet another onside kick.
• Alabama's offensive line has been first-rate, with Landon Dickerson leading the list of team players who hasn't gotten near the credit he deserves. He started at center, slid over to guard for a bit when Deonte Brown (shoulder) was pulled, and then went back to center with Chris Owens inserted at center.
• Alabama's still making too many missed tackles defensively. It was better than the previous couple of weeks, but remains a targeted area for improvement.
• The secondary got burned a little bit as Tennessee has aded some nice speed at wide receiver, including true freshman WR Jalin Hyatt having receptions of 48 and 38 yards. Those, combined with a 27-yard touchdown catch by senior Josh Palmer accounted for 113 of Tennessee's 162 passing, which in the broader sense is a pretty good day for a developing secondary.
• Alabama's been doing a better job on third downs, as the Vols were 4-for-16 for the day, but not on fourth downs. Tennessee went 2-for-4, and opponents are 8-for-13 (61.54 percent) for the season.
• There's nothing worse in college football than a season-ending injury to a player like Jaylen Waddle.
• Critics second-guessing Nick Saban's decision to use the best returner in college football on a kick return.
• The SEC-only schedule is beginning to take a toll as Alabama is preparing to face its sixth straight league opponent. Alabama, which has a two-game cushion in the SEC West, then thankfully goes into its bye.
We'll leave you with this picture, posted by Waddle on social media: