After a sluggish first half, the 7th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1, 4-1) used a punishing running game and tightening defense to roll to a 41-10 win over host Tennessee Saturday night in Knoxville.
Junior wide receiver Julio Jones led the parade with a school-record 221 receiving yards on 12 catches.
Alabama senior quarterback Greg McElroy was 21-of-32 passes for 264 yards, while junior running back Mark Ingram had a pair of TD’s and sophomore back Trent Richardson rushed for 119 yards, including a 65-yard TD scamper, to extend the Crimson Tide lead to 27-10 with 8:26 to play in the third quarter.
On defense, junior linebacker Dont’a Hightower paced the Crimson Tide with six tackles, two for a loss.
In a sign of the future for Crimson Tide fans, redshirt freshman QB A.J. McCarron hit Richardson on a 5-yard pass to make it 40-10 with 7:40 left in the game.
In all, Alabama totaled 538 yards of total offense, compared to only 315 by Tennessee (2-5, 0-4).
For Tennessee, running back Tauren Poole becoming the first player in 42 games to rush for more than 100 yards against Alabama’s defense.
After a bye next weekend, Alabama goes to Baton Rouge against LSU on Nov. 6.
With the national title hunt still in the cards, ‘Bama must now focus on the Tigers and try for a win in their final road game of the season.
After LSU, ‘Bama finishes with three straight home games, including 4th-ranked and unbeaten Auburn on Nov. 27.
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Written by Dave Thomas