TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 11 Alabama Crimson Tide will play host to the No. 17 Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday afternoon, seeking revenge after last year’s loss.

The long-time rivalry goes back over 120 years when the two schools played each other for the first time in 1901. Unlike last year’s shootout, that game ended in a 6-6 tie. There have been a total of 105 meetings between Alabama and Tennessee, including playing each other every year since 1944. Alabama leads the all-time series 59-39-7.

For this week’s Red Zone Rewind, let’s take a look back at the last three meetings on the third Saturday in October.


The shootout that ended the streak

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) drops back to pass against Tennessee at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN on Saturday, Oct 15, 2022.

In 2022, the No. 3 Crimson Tide traveled to Knoxville to play the No. 6 Tennessee Volunteers in what turned out to be one of the most memorable games of that college football season and certainly one of the most memorable games of the rivalry.

Alabama trailed 21-7 after the first quarter after Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt hauled in two touchdowns for 47 yards in total in addition to running back Jarbari Small’s touchdown.

After trailing 28-10 midway through the second quarter, Alabama ended the half scoring 10 unanswered points by way of quarterback Bryce Young and running backs Jahmyr Gibbs and Jase McClellan leading the team down the field for a touchdown and a field goal to end the half trailing just 28-20.

The offense continued to pick up the pace for both teams in the second half. Jahmyr Gibbs played a huge role in Alabama’s offense. Gibbs racked up 44 total yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter alone to give the Crimson Tide their first lead of the game leading 35-34 going into the fourth quarter.

After the two teams traded touchdowns to tie the game at 42, the Alabama defense came up big after linebacker Dallas Turner took a botched handoff back for a touchdown to give the Crimson Tide a 49-42 lead.

After Tennessee tied the game at 49, Tennessee kicker Chase McGrath kicked the game winning field goal to give Tennessee their first win against Alabama since 2006. The high-scoring thriller ended Alabama’s 15-game win streak against Tennessee.


Brian Robinson leads the Tide

In 2021, No. 4 Alabama played the unranked Tennessee Volunteers in Tuscaloosa – the most recent matchup between the two that took place in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Tennessee started the game up 14-7 after the first quarter. Alabama quickly bounced back with both a rushing and a passing touchdown from quarterback Bryce Young to take a 21-14 lead going into halftime.

After exchanging field goals in the third quarter, Alabama pulled away in the fourth quarter. Young scored his second rushing touchdown of the game after running it in from 6 yards away to take a 31-17 lead early in the fourth quarter. After Tennessee scored a 70-yard touchdown to bring the score back to a one-score game, it was running back Brian Robinson’s big moment.

After scoring his first touchdown in the first quarter, Robinson scored a second and third touchdown just four minutes apart from each other. After Robinson ran in touchdowns from 15 yards and 1 yard away, he extended the Crimson Tide lead to 45-24 and effectively put the game well out of Tennessee’s reach.

Robinson finished the game with 26 carries for 106 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receivers John Metchie III and Jameson Williams lead the way on the receiving end with 121 yards and 123 yards respectively.

Bryce Young set a season high for pass yards and total yards in a game during the regular season going 31/43 passing for 371 yards and tacked on another 42 rushing yards for a total of 413 yards. Young would later set a new season-high for passing yards and total yards in a game with 421 passing yards and 461 total yards in the SEC Championship against Georgia.

COVID-year dominance

In 2020, No. 2 Alabama went up to Neyland Stadium and faced off against a 2-2 unranked Tennessee squad.

After rushing touchdowns by running back Najee Harris and quarterback Mac Jones to start the game up 14-0 after one quarter, the Crimson Tide never looked back. Alabama’s offense and defense kept pressing forward as Alabama won 48-17 to move to 5-0 on the season.

The Alabama offense out gained Tennessee’s offense 587 yards to just 302 yards, including out passing Tennessee 417-163. John Metchie III led the team in receiving, hauling in seven catches for 151 yards. Wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Slade Bolden each had seven and six receptions in the game. On the defensive side of things, safety Malachi Moore had picked up a fumble and returned it all the way for a defensive touchdown. The defense also held Tennessee to just 4/16 on third down.

The 31-point win moved Alabama to 5-0 on the season and 5-0 in conference play. The Crimson Tide kept its foot on the gas as they ended the season 13-0, winning not only the SEC Championship, but the National Championship as well.

Out of the 13 games played during that season, Alabama won 12 of them by at least 15 points while averaging over 48 points per game for the entire season.


Next Up

The Tennessee Volunteers will seek to get their second straight victory over Nick Saban and Alabama, including their first win in Tuscaloosa since 2003. The game will air on CBS and kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CDT.


Graham Baakko is a contributor for WVUA-FM.