By: Lee Ramsey
One of the greatest rivalries in college football took place last Saturday night as the Tennessee Vols hosted the Alabama Crimson Tide in the mammoth caverns of Neyland Stadium.
It was a sellout crowd of 102,000 fans on a perfect fall evening.
The orange gladiators of the gridiron took the field running through the T formed by the band at the north end of the stadium.
The atmosphere was electric and very loud. It remained that way until 8:44 in the first quarter when Tennessee runner Tauren Poole tore off left tackle and exploded with a 59 yard romp for a Volunteer touchdown.
The crowd noise then went to a deafening level.
Freshman kicker Michael Palardy then made the PAT and Tennessee led the 7th ranked Tide 7-0.
The entire stadium came unglued. Tennessee fans were hysterical as Alabama fans sat in silence with shocked facial expressions.
Alabama answered with a 36 yard field goal by Jeremy Shelley with 4:04 left. Tennessee still led at the end of the quarter 7-3.
In the 2nd quarter Tennessee traded 3 for 10 and the score at halftime stood 13-10 Alabama.
The second half began and reality set in. Alabama’s superior depth, talent and size took over as the Tide scored on their first four possessions and the game was all but over.
Alabama’s drives culminated for 70, 65, 80 and 80 yards with each drive containing at least one big play.
At the end of the 3rd quarter, the score stood 34-10 Alabama after 21 unanswered points.
The Crimson Tide added on more insurance touchdown in the fourth quarter to make the final 41-10.
“We played a really outstanding football team tonight,” Tennessee Head Coach Derrick Dooley said. “We fought them pretty hard for 30 minutes; scrapping and fighting and then we came out the 3rd quarter and gave up a couple of big plays.
“We made some bad decisions and the game got away from us.
“We’re just going to keep working on improving; that’s all we can do. We’re struggling to stop anybody right now.”
On Saturday Tennessee faces the South Carolina Gamecocks at Columbus, South Carolina. Kickoff is at 12:30 p.m.
Vols Come up Short Against Tide
By: Lee Ramsey