This page will be updated regularly throughout the game.


1st Quarter

Tennessee opens the game with a near-perfect drive, ending with a deep-ball touchdown from Joe Milton to Squirrel White. Vols lead 7-0 w/12:39 remaining.

Lots of quick throws and easy decisions for Milton on the opening drive. Didn’t have to use the run game much. Couldn’t ask for a better start if you’re Tennessee. Alabama’s response will be interesting, given this offense’s struggle to score early so far this season.

Alabama punts after a quick three and out.

As mentioned, Alabama’s early-game offensive struggles continue. This has been a problem all year for the Crimson Tide, and it doesn’t look like they’ll end today against the Vols.

Tennessee punts after a three and out of their own.

This is probably a little more like what we’ll see today – a low scoring, defensive affair. Great response from Alabama’s defense to force a punt – even though the Vols nearly picked up that third-down conversion.

Alabama forced to punt, but get their first big completion of the game.

That completion from Milroe to Malik Benson shows just how far he’s come this season. Stayed calm in the pocket despite pressure from both sides, let the play develop and delivered a great ball. Despite the big play, they still end up punting. Running game still hasn’t been able to do much.

Tennessee settles for a FG after a run (and option) heavy drive. Vols lead 10-0 w/2:00 remaining.

Tennessee’s offense has started turning more towards the running ability of Milton here midway through the first quarter. Lots of option, running with someone to pitch to, tough to cover. Run game has also started to pick up. Milton playing a great game thus far.

This is exactly what I spoke about on The Low Tide (7-8 p.m. CT every Sunday on 90.7 FM in Tuscaloosa) this past week: Alabama getting in a hole early due to their slow starts on offense.

Alabama’s Jalen Milroe gets strip-sacked on third-down and Tennessee recovers at the Tide 24.

Nick Saban’s offense is struggling to find its flow and THAT is the worst-case scenario.

Tennessee settles for another FG. Vols lead 13-0 w/11 seconds remaining.

Alabama’s defense deserve serious commendation after forcing ANOTHER FG from the Vols there. This game could easily be 21-0 after the first if not for some great plays. Milton just overthrew a wide-open receiver there on third down.


Alabama’s offense has been flat thus far. Run game hasn’t been able to get much going with just 13-yards after one. Polar opposite for the Tennessee offense, who’ve rushed for 61 yards and thrown for 126 after one.

If not for the Crimson Tide defense, this one would’ve been getting dark early. Feels like Alabama need a big spark – from either the defense or offense – to fire up the Bryant-Denny Crowd.


2nd Quarter

Alabama forced to punt after a sack from Tennessee’s Omarr Norman-Lott.

Alabama opens the quarter with a 34-yard game off a toss to Kendrick Law. Good way to get the offense flowing and use the athleticism of your best players. Something BOB never did in prior seasons and a welcome change of pace from Tommy Rees. Drive stalled out after that and a big sack from the Vols. Tough to not come away with points there.

Tennessee punts after a three-and-out.

Alabama’s defense is the only reason they’re still in this game. Another great stop prevents Tennessee from adding to their momentum. Offense desperately needs to put together a long drive – even if you don’t score or only come away with three. Defense is going to get worn out fast if you can’t give them a rest.

Jermaine Burton holds on for Alabama’s first TD of the game. 13-7 Vols w/7:05 remaining.

First big run of the game for Alabama came on that drive – pitch to Jase McClellan for 10 yards. Milroe dealing with a lot of pressure from the Vol defensive line, but still making good decisions. Some interesting play designs from Rees starting to open up the run game for the Tide early in the second. Tide forced to burn a timeout after some confusion.

Alabama’s best drive of the game thus far. Also took 4:05 – their longest of the game by-far. Scored, took some momentum back, got Burton involved and rested your defense. Ideal.

Tennessee goes for it (?!?!) and Alabama gets a huge stop for great field position.

Tennessee was unable to get the play off before that Milton run went to review, costing them a first down and giving Alabama a major chance here as the half edges closer. Vols opt to go for it (?!?!?!) and Alabama takes over at their own 34-yard line. If the Tide come back – especially if they score on the ensuing drive – that decision will be a major point of contention for Josh Heupel.

Milroe’s pass to Burton is intercepted in the end-zone.

Very tough to not come away with points after that gifted possession from the Vols. Penalty gave Alabama another break, but ends up wasted. Looks like the pass was good, but hit Burton in the shoulder/face and ended up in the hands of a Tennessee defender.

Milton passes to Castles McCallan for a touchdown. 20-7 Vols lead w/12 seconds remaining.

30-yard completion by Milton leads to Tennessee scoring again before the half is up. Heupel opts to go for it on fourth down – what a call – and they convert. Huge momentum boost for a Vol offense that’d struggled in the red zone throughout the second quarter. Looked like Alabama was going to stop them again, but get stunned on one play. Bryant-Denny pretty quiet after that one – major turning point in the game.

Milroe sacked on the final play of the first half.

A few nice passes as time expires for Alabama attacking the sidelines. Nothing much to write home about.


Alabama’s offense looked much improved in the second quarter. If not for a tough break in the end zone on the deflected pass, this game could look entirely different. Instead, the Tide come away empty handed, Tennessee scores on a gutsy call and the momentum rests entirely with the Vols.

How does Alabama get back in this one? The same way they constructed their best drive of the half: long, creative drives that get the run game (at least partially) involved and give the defense time to rest.

3rd Quarter

Milroe connects with Isiah Bond for a wide-open TD. Vols lead 20-14 w/14:19 remaining.

Definitively the best start to a second half from Alabama that I’ve witnessed. McClellan has a massive gain on the outside run, then Bond gets WIDE OPEN for an easy TD. Talk about a kickstarter. Crowd back into this one.

Tennessee forced to punt.

Tennessee player that signaled for the fair catch isn’t the one that caught the kickoff, and Tennessee is forced to start on their own 4-yard line. Alabama crowd and defense are LOUD on the ensuing possessions. Punt is great and gets all the way to the Tide 30.

Will Reichard knocks down a FG. Vols lead 20-17 w/8:33 remaining in the third.

Back-to-back offside calls against the Tennessee defense further push the momentum before Alabama has (shockingly, given the start to the year) its first snap-infraction of the game. Milroe really starting to throw the ball well – perhaps he’s a second-half player.

Two interesting notes: 1) Alabama has ONE penalty so far. 2) That’s one of the latest first FG in a game this year for the Crimson Tide.

Tennessee’s drive stalls and they turn it over on downs at midfield.

Alabama’s first sack of Milton came on this drive. Great downfield coverage on the deep pass by Kool-Aid McKinstry – he’s going to be a good NFL corner. Tennessee once again opts to go for it on fourth-down – this time at midfield – and it gets blown up by Jihaad Campbell. Good starting field position for Milroe and the offense.

McClellan runs to the outside for a TD. Alabama leads (for the first time) 24-20 w/3:42 remaining.

My goodness Jermaine Burton. Huge catch there on third down to keep the drive alive. Go back and watch that one again. McClellan bounces to the outside and scores easily. Momentum has entirely flipped in Alabama’s favor – if it hadn’t already.

Tennessee punts after failing to covert on 3rd-and-long.

Tennessee returned to what worked in the first half – a quick pass that allows your receiver to show his athleticism – but it was immediately called back for holding. Milton was able to extend the play and nearly pick up the 3rd-and-long through the air, but came up a few yards short.


4th Quarter

Reichard 50-yard FG makes it a TD game. 27-20 Alabama lead w/8:17 remaining.

Run game really starting to come alive late in this game. Three straight runs to open the drive for Alabama and they get the first down. Milroe makes a huge run there after the play goes nowhere and extends the drive. That play won’t get as much attention, but it’s big – takes more and more time off the clock late in this game. Milroe had Burton open on one play, but threw a poor ball into the Tide sideline.

Yet again, another penalty hurts Tennessee’s defense – something that Alabama fans have dealt with for seemingly the last two seasons. Big sack on 3rd down forces Alabama to take a FG, very big play for Vol defense. Reichard PUMPED after knocking that one thru.

An aside: remember how Bryce Young had the ability to run, but rarely used it until it was absolutely necessary? It feels like that’s who Jalen Milroe is becoming. Then, the designed run becomes a more-hidden wrinkle in your playbook.

Alabama recovers a fumble and scores, Bryant-Denny Stadium comes unglued. 34-20 Crimson Tide lead w/7:26 remaining.

Feels like Tennessee HAS to score here – even if it’s just a FG to stay in this one. They haven’t scored since the half. Might have jnxed the Vols here.

What a play from Chris Braswell, who forced the fumble. This one might be over and that was a crushing blow for Tennessee. Dixieland Delight immediately starts playing.

Tennessee goes three-and-out, forced to punt.

Nothing available for Milton there. Fantastic punt however from Jackson Ross, downed at the 3-yard line after a 71-yard punt. Expect a time-killing, run heavy drive from Alabama here – or at least an attempt at it.

Alabama wastes time, punts after some trickery.

McClellan almost got to the edge and would’ve had one defender keeping him from a 97-yard touchdown on the first play. Looks like Alabama was going to go for it one 4th-and-1, but a Tennessee defender smartly falls to the ground after some sideline confusion. Some trickery from Alabama before they take a timeout, most likely to punt.

Turnover on downs for Tennessee w/2:00 remaining.

Need a miracle if you’re Tennessee. A few designed runs for Milton allow the Vols to pick up lots of yards. Another execution-mistake penalty costs Tennessee a few yards. BUMP on what could be the last chance for Tennessee. Last chance, great coverage. Should be the ball game.

Punt from Alabama.

Alabama runs the ball all three downs, Tennessee burns all three of their timeouts and the Vols will be down two possessions with 1:33 remaining. You can smell the victory cigars from the press box.

Time expires, Alabama wins 34-20.


What a second half from Alabama. 27 unanswered points and a complete flip of what the offense looked like. In the words of Nick Saban, the Tide didn’t just win the game – they BEAT Tennessee. It wasn’t pretty to begin, but there’s not really anything you can do better coming out of the locker room.

Arguably the Tide’s best win of the season thus far. Now they’ll get a bye-week and a chance to rest up before they welcome LSU and their explosive offense to town.


Nicholas Pursley is the sports director at WVUA-FM. You can follow him on X @nicholaspursley.


All analysis and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of WVUA-FM.