Alabama can't hold on, Tennessee big plays rule the day 28-23 Alabama took the opening kickoff and moved down the field on a succession of runs and a play action pass to the tight end. A big completion to the three yard line set up a touchdown run by fullback (insert name) and Alabama had a 7-0 lead. On the following drive, Tennessee got a first down on a pass over the middle, but were then stopped by good defense on a 3rd and 7 and had to punt. Tennessee returned the favor as McCarron was hit and the 3rd and 7 pass fluttered harmlessly to the turf. The second forced punt in as many possessions. Alabama got lucky on Tennessee's first play from scrimmage as a pass to a wide-open Bryce Brown in the flat was caught but brown stepped out of bounds. What would have been at least a 20-yard gain was instead just five. On 3rd and 5 Tennessee surprised Bama with an option keeper which gained 8 yards and Tennessee was driving. A pitch to Brown picked up 9 yards, and Brown converted on the next play for a first down. Brown's third carry in a row picked up another 9 and a half yards and Tennessee was inside the red zone. A tired brown scored from 17 yards out on the next carry, diving inside the pylon to tie the game, 7-7. Alabama's next drive got started with a big gainer to the tight end Keyes, as Rusty Dorsey covered the wrong man. Alabama was in business on the Tennessee 38. Antoher big play to the slot wide receiver gave McCarron 100 passing yards in the first half and set up the Tide at the 13. A quick pass to Richardson in the flat resulted in a touchdown as Richardson hurdled a big hit attempt at the two yard line and barreled in to give the Crimson ones a 14-7 lead. Tennessee came out with a little bit of urgency on the ensuing drive as their defense was looking a tad vulnerable. A quick pass to Tucker gained 8, and Brown converted, then gained another 8 on the next play to their own 45. On the following carry, Brown inexplicably fumbled after a big hit, and Alabama was able to recover. Would this be another case of one turnover allowing Alabama to win? With a 14-7 lead Alabama wasn't playing it safe, as the next play was a long pass downfield. The pass floated a bit, but Kendall Kelly made an amazing catch while getting upended, setting up Alabama at the Tennessee 28 yard line. Another pass over the middle to a wide open receiver put them at the 15. Tennessee went to a zone blitz at just the right time and McCarron was sacked. He fumbled, but the Tide recovered and kicked a field goal to take a 17-7 lead. Tennessee had a holding penalty on the return, then a couple plays into the drive were called for clipping on a long gainer by Brown, giving them a 1st and 17 opportunity at their own 39. Things looked good for Alabama, but Tennessee exploded. Sean George got open over the middle, caught a pass, and the speed that Tennessee is known for resulted in a touchdown. 17-14, Alabama. McCArron went over the 200 yard mark as Alabama continued to blitz the Tennessee defense via the pass. They're a tough team to run against, so sometimes that's about the only option. A couple of big defensive plays against the run set up a 3rd and 11, and a desperation pass downfield to Kelly came up short. Alabama was forced to punt. Tennessee got over-aggressive and despite having guys open threw it deep twice and had to punt. The defense then stepped up and forced a punt by Alabama, but on the very next play Tennessee again made the mistake of throwing one to the Alabama defense, and Alabama set up shop on the UT 32 yard line. The Tennessee defense continued to cause problems as even simple runs up the middle were being destroyed. Alabama faced a 3rd and 9 at the 31 yard line. McCarron was sacked, but Alabama made the long field goal to take a 20-14 lead heading into halftime. The Vols took the ball first in the second half. A long pass put the vols in Alabama territory. On 2nd and 10 Alexander threw a quick pass but the receiver was blown up ansd dropped the ball, setting up a difficult 3rd down conversion. Alexander overthrew his target, and Tennessee had to give it back. Aalbama finally started making progress on the ground again on their next drive, using three running plays to make a first down. The Tide shot themselves in the foot with a delay of game penalty, but hit some big passes to get the drive going. A big Tennessee stop on third set up a 4th and 1, and everything was on the line for the Tide as they decided to go for it. Joe Ransom took the ball and got about 9 yards up the middle. Tennessee eventually stopped the drive when the field was shortened, as Alabama once again was completely thwarted on the ground. The Tide kicked a 34-yard field goal to make it 23-14 with 23 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Time was no longer an ally for the Vols and they came out passing. two tough catches were made on the sideline to put them into Alabama territory, and the vols continued to make tough catches, holding onto the ball despite taking big hits. Bryce Brown made one such catch, then two plays later was hit hard by a pair of 'Bama linebackers and had to leave the game. Sean George made another upended catch on the next play, then David Oku plowed up the middle for 7 yards to the Alabama 8 yard line. Oku was stopped for a yard to set up an important 3rd and 2. Alexander ignored the pressure and crowd noise to find Jordan Carlson for a 6-yard touchdown pass, and the Vols were within a field goal of taking the lead, 21-23. Tennessee had once again clawed their way into position to win a nail biter. For most watching, it seemed that the pressure was now on the Tide. They completed a short pass, but again the Tennessee edge rush worked to perfection as McCarron was sacked and fumbled yet again. And yet again the Tide recovered the ball. A 3rd and 7 turned into 3rd and 12 thanks to another delay of game, as Alabama began to struggle to find good plays. Mccarron was hit and suffered a minor injury on the next play, but completed the pass attempt for a big conversion. The Alabama drive stalled when Tennessee had great coverage and a Tide receiver couldn't hold on to a pass at the marker. They punted. Oku fudged the punt but got ahold of it, and survived a monster hit without fumbling. There were 3:00 on the clock and Tennessee needed a field goal. The drive started at their own 9 yard line and they lost two yards on first down. One of the damndest plays in the history of the league happened next. A bad read was tipped into the air but Jordan Carlson came away with the football and made a huge play, getting all the way down to the Alabama 25 yard line. Now all UT had to do was kill the clock and kick the field goal. Bryce Brown started hammering away and picked up a first down as the clock leaked under 1:40 to play. The Vols picked up 5 on a Brown dive, and Alabama had to use their second timeout. In a game of lucky breaks for both teams, possibly the biggest one happened on the next play as the fullback was destroyed by the Tide rush and fumbled, but the Vols recovered. Alabama used their final timeout of the game. A pitch to Brown on 3rd and 4 was successful, picking up 5 yards, and the game was over. Tennessee could have kneeled twice and kicked the field goal, but decided to try a run to center the ball, and Oku scored. Damndest call in a game full of damndest plays. Tennessee wins, 28-23.