#1 Alabama makes it 12 straight wins over the Vols
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tua Tagovailoa threw touchdown passes to four receivers and No. 1 Alabama started fast again in a 58-21 victory over Tennessee on Saturday.
Alabama had touchdowns on its first four possessions while outscoring Tennessee 28-0 and outgaining the Volunteers 217-6 in the opening period. Alabama has outscored opponents 165-31, and Tennessee has been outscored 69-16 in first quarters this season.
Tagovailoa went 19 of 29 for 306 yards before leaving midway through the third quarter with Alabama ahead 51-14. He took a big hit on his final play of the day, a 51-yard touchdown pass to Henry Ruggs III.
Earlier, Tagovailoa connected on touchdown passes to Jerry Jeudy, Jaylen Waddle and Irv Smith Jr. The Heisman Trophy contender has thrown 25 touchdown passes without an interception this season.
Alabama (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) beat Tennessee (3-4, 1-3) for the 12th straight year and had the highest points total either team has ever recorded in the 101-game history of the series. Alabama is scoring 54.1 points per game and entered the weekend leading all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in that category.
Tennessee quarterback Keller Chryst went 9 of 15 for 164 yards with two touchdown passes after replacing starter Jarrett Guarantano, who got hit by linebacker Mack Wilson midway through the second quarter and never took another snap.
Alabama grabbed a 21-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game.
Tagovailoa capitalized on outstanding protection to cap the first series of the game by throwing an 11-yard pass to Jeudy in the right corner of the end zone, the sophomore’s 10th touchdown catch of the season.
Xavier McKinney then sacked Guarantano and knocked the ball loose, with Christian Miller recovering the fumble at the Tennessee 3. That turnover set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Josh Jacobs, who also had a 2-yard score in the second quarter.
After Tennessee went three-and-out on its next pssession, Tagovailoa threw a perfect pass to Waddle, who caught the ball just beyond midfield and raced into the end zone for a 77-yard touchdown. Damien Harris’ 3-yard touchdown run capped a 93-yard drive that made it 28-0 with 3:31 left in the first quarter.