Light them up: Alabama's offense terrorizes the Volunteers in the second halfBy Cody Estremera | 10/21/2017 8:15pm
Light them up. Not just the cigars, but the Tennessee defense.
Alabama was a terror in the second half of its 45-7 win over Tennessee, accounting for 352 yards outgaining its first half total by over 100 yards .
In the game, the Crimson Tide accounted for 604 total yards, including 332 through the air against the No. 2 passing defense in the country.
“We just made plays when they were needed to be made,” wide receiver Calvin Ridley said.
For almost every one of Alabama’s games this year the first half has been just dominate for Alabama. The Crimson Tide has outscored its opponents 169-21 through its first seven games. Saturday, however, wasn’t necessarily the same story.
Though the Crimson Tide scored 21 points, the offense looked out of sorts multiple times.
After driving from its own 15-yard line, Alabama was down on the Tennessee one-yard line. The Crimson Tide had a delay of game penalty, threw and incomplete pass, had a four-yard rush and a holding penalty against the Volunteers. On third and less than one, Alabama threw an incomplete pass, leading to one of Bo Scarbrough's leaping touchdowns.
Scarbrough finished with just 18 yards, but got the yards when he needed to, leaping into the end zone on fourth-and-one twice.
“I was on the ground with a bunch of people and Bo was flying,” center Bradley Bozeman said. “It was great, every time you see him jump into the end zone.”
With Scarbrough’s touchdown runs, Alabama is still a perfect 11 of 11 on fourth down this season.
“It’s a scramble [going for it on fourth-and-one],” Bozeman said. “It’s an every time [must get on fourth and short]. There’s no excuse. If its fourth and one and we are running the ball, that’s on us. We have to have it.
The lackluster first half head coach Nick Saban decided to have a come to Jesus meeting with his team.
“We had to have a little come to Jesus meeting about what is this all about,” Saban said. “What is your commitment to? What goals do we have as a team, and what is more important, the goals we have for a team, or what someone else thinks, writes or says.”
Saban's speech worked, as the offense came out strong in the second half.
Alabama ran for 184 yards, while throwing for 188 yards. The majority of the rushing attack came from Najee Harris and Tua Tagovailoa, who combined for 86 yards and a touchdown. Tagovailoa also threw for 134 yards and a touchdown.
Tagovailoa also threw his first interception of the year, which was returned for a touchdown.
"He played great; he played fine," Saban said. "...He felt bad. I think he got hit as he threw the ball... The most important thing was he went back out and made plays."
Alabama takes its bye next week before hosting LSU.
“It’s extremely welcome,” Hentges said. “We have some guys that are banged up, and we need to take our time to rest and get back to that fundamental football that we were playing. Just getting back to the basics and resting up is going to be good for us.”