TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — With Alabama favored by 37 points, the 100th meeting in the Third Saturday of October series pretty much went as everyone expected, with the No. 1 Crimson Tide dominating 45-7.
Tennessee’s last win over Alabama was a 16-13 victory in 2006, and the last win in Tuscaloosa was the 51-43 five-overtime game in 2003.
Here’s some of what Tennessee had to say after the game:
Coach Butch Jones
“First of all, when you play a team like Alabama, every mistake you make is magnified. I think that was evidenced in the first half. I want to say there was six or seven minutes to go in the first quarter and it was 7-0. We’re off the field twice, and we get a couple of penalties and extend drives and it can change on you in a hurry. The big thing is when you make a mistake it’s magnified, and I thought we came out and did some good things. But again, we can’t make mistakes and extend drives for them. Obviously, offensively, you have to put drives together. You know, there’s a couple of times we were trying to play the field position game, and I thought we were able to do that. But again, coming out, situational football. Even though, we were able to get off the field, you’ve got to force a three-and-out. That changes the field position. We weren’t able to do that. I want to say we got the ball somewhere around the 30-yard line, and again, if we force a three-and-out we probably have the ball at midfield field or the plus-45. Those are all things, when you play a good team like that, it just, you know, it accumulates.”
On the offensive struggles:
“Well, first of all, they’ve been doing that to everyone. They’re a very, very talented defense and a very talented defensive front and as good as we’ve seen in the back-end. But that’s no excuse. We have to execute. The thing that’s just, it’s absolutely tearing me up, is you know, we have second-and-goal on the one and we jump offsides. Now it’s second-and-goal on the six when it’s really second-and-inches. Those are things that’s winning football, that’s discipline. We’re not executing in those situations. The ability to beat man coverage and protect the quarterback. I thought they controlled the line-of-scrimmage all day.”
On the hardest part of the past month:
“It’s all about our players, you know, about our kids. They’re working very, very hard. I hurt for them because they invest so much in it. Like I told them, right now our leadership’s being challenged, our maturity’s being challenged. But we have to continue to stay together and work. How you feel in that locker room right now, you have to apply it to during the week, Sunday , Monday , Tuesday , Wednesday , Thursday . All that in terms of sacrificing and committing. Taking pride in your preparation. But I hurt for the players because we expect to win. That’s why you play the game.”
Defensive back Rashaan Gaulden
“First off, I want to make an apology to the University of Tennessee and the University of Alabama for my gesture after the pick six by Daniel Bituli. That remark that I showed was very out of character. That’s not how my parents raised me. That’s not how a leader of the team should show their emotions on the field. I sincerely apologize to the student section of Alabama for disrespecting them.”
On his defense’s performance:
“It does come down to being on the field a lot … Alabama did really well with the time of possession. Being on the field a lot builds on you can fatigue you a little bit.”
Defensive lineman Kendal Vickers
“The games are always physical. You expect that going into games like this. You just have to prepare your mind and your body for 60 minutes. They are a great team and they showed it today so hats off to them.”
On giving up two touchdowns late in the second quarter:
“You have got to keep playing. They put up all those points, 21 in the first half, and so we went in and felt like we could get back in the game. We felt like everybody was ready to get back out there after halftime, but it just didn’t happen.”
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