Decade of Dominance: Nick Saban, Alabama have owned Tennessee
During Nick Saban’s decade of dominance at Alabama, he and the Crimson Tide have owned Tennessee to the tune of nine straight victories by an average margin of 34-12.
The Vols are actually one of five SEC teams that have yet to taste victory against Alabama under Saban, but Tennessee is the only team to officially lose in each year of Saban’s tenure since his win over Arkansas in 2007 was vacated.
Note: Along with that win over Arkansas, Alabama’s win over Vanderbilt in 2007 was also vacated, so those weren’t included.
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With Bama traveling to Knoxville this Saturday to try to make it 10 in a row, here’s a look at those previous nine meetings:
2007: Alabama 41, Tennessee 17
The Tide opened the game with a successful onside kick, John Parker Wilson passed for a career-high 363 yards and 3 TDs and D.J. Hall had what is still tied for a school-record 13 receptions for 185 yards and 2 TDs as Bama held Tennessee scoreless in the second half. It was Alabama’s most lopsided win in the series since a 56-28 victory in 1986.
2008: Alabama 29, Tennessee 9
Alabama rushed for 178 yards while outgaining Tennessee 366-173. Julio Jones had 6 catches for 103 yards, and Wilson completed 17-of-24 passes for 188 yards. It was the first time the Tide had beaten the Volunteers two years in a row since 1991-92.
2009: Alabama 12, Tennessee 10
In the lowest-scoring game in the series since Saban took over the Tide, Terrence Cody blocked a 44-yard field-goal attempt on the final play – his second block of the fourth quarter – as Alabama remained unbeaten. Leigh Tiffin produced all of Bama’s points with four field goals – including boots from 50 and 49 yards – as Saban’s squad overcame Mark Ingram’s first college fumble.
2010: Alabama 41, Tennessee 10
Jones caught 12 passes for 221 yards, both career-highs, Greg McElroy threw for 264 yards and AJ McCarron connected with Trent Richardson on a 5-yard TD pass. Alabama, which led 13-10 at halftime, beat Tennessee for the fourth straight time, marking its longest winning streak in the series since it took seven in a row from 1986-92.
2011: Alabama 37, Tennessee 6
McCarron threw for 284 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score as the Tide scored 31 unanswered second-half points. Over the game’s final 30 minutes, Bama outgained the Vols 280-41 and didn’t surrender a first down.
2012: Alabama 44, Tennessee 13
McCarron passed for 306 yards and a career-high 4 TDs, and Amari Cooper had 7 receptions for 162 yards, the most receiving yards ever by an Alabama freshman. T.J. Yeldon rushed for 129 yards and 2 scores on 15 carries as the Tide recorded its third straight 31-point victory over the Volunteers.
2013: Alabama 45, Tennessee 10
Yeldon scored on three 1-yard runs, and McCarron completed 19-of-27 passes for 275 yards and 2 first-half TDs for the Tide, which rolled to a 35-0 halftime lead. Yeldon ran 15 times for 72 yards while Kenyan Drake had 89 yards on 14 carries and Kevin Norwood made 6 catches for 112 yards in the most lopsided game in the series since Saban has been Alabama’s head coach.
2014: Alabama 34, Tennessee 20
Cooper made nine catches, scored 2 TDs and set a single-game school record with 224 receiving yards as former Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin made a triumphant return to Neyland Stadium in his first game as Alabama’s offensive coordinator. The Vols, who fell behind 27-0, made it somewhat of a game behind Joshua Dobbs, who completed 19-of-32 passes for 192 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
2015: Alabama 19, Tennessee 14
Derrick Henry scored on a 14-yard run with 2:24 left to ruin Tennessee’s best chance to win during the Saban era at Alabama. The Tide sacked Dobbs on two straight plays, and Ryan Anderson knocked the ball loose from the Volunteers QB to secure the victory.
Aaron Medley missed three field goal attempts for Tennessee.