Published October 25, 2010 - 6:45am
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Any doubts about Alabama’s ability to win on the road were put to bed Saturday night in a 41 – 10 romping of long-time rival Tennessee. The win on the road in Knoxville proved that Alabama still holds the potential to survive the rest of the 2010 season as a one-loss team and possibly make a second consecutive National Championship appearance.
Though Alabama primarily dominated the second half of the game, Tennessee scored the first touchdown, bringing many Tide fans sour memories of what was a near defeat in Tuscaloosa last year against the Vols. A close game was not meant to be this year, as Alabama came alive in the second half, defeating Tennessee by the biggest point margin since 1963.
The Alabama offense danced circles around the Vols’ defense. Sleeping giant Julio Jones had 221 receiving yards Saturday night, delivering his first real stand out performance of the 2010 season and setting the school record for receiving yards in a single game. Other top performers on offense included quarterback Greg McElroy and running back Mark Ingram. McElroy threw for 264 yards and Mark Ingram had two rushing touchdowns.
The defense struggled slightly in the first half allowing Tennessee to put up 10 points but recovered in the second, allowing nothing else for the Vols offensively.
The rest of the weekend went exactly as Alabama needed it to as far as BCS standings are concerned. No. 1 Oklahoma fell to No. 11 Mizzou and No. 6 LSU suffered its first loss to No. 4 Auburn. This allowed Alabama to move up in to No. 7 in the polls and cleared two more undefeated teams from the list of remaining road blocks to the BCS Championship.
Though Saturday’s game showed promise for Tide fans, upcoming games still spell big challenges for Alabama to conquer. The greatest challenge lies ominously in the undefeated Auburn Tigers at the Iron Bowl in what will surely be the most intense rivalry showdown college football witnesses this season. For now, that game is a distant worry as more pressing challenges lie in the nearer future.
Alabama has a much-needed bye week before taking on No. 11 LSU in Death Valley and then returns home to play a No. 21 Mississippi State, both of which will require a great amount of the revived effort and enthusiasm the Tide displayed against Tennessee.