Rapid Reaction: Alabama makes it 14 in a row over Tennessee, but Jaylen Waddle's injury mutes celebration
The day started horribly for Alabama, which lost star receiver/returner Jaylen Waddle to a season-ending injury on the opening kickoff at Tennessee.
After that, it was all Bama. After their first drive ended with a punt, the Crimson Tide scored on their next 4 possessions and raced to a 48-17 victory Saturday. It was Alabama’s 14th consecutive victory over Tennessee and the 8th time the Tide hung at least 40 on the Vols in that span.
Victory cigars are a staple in this rivalry, but Waddle’s ankle injury dampened the mood, even if it didn’t seem to slow down the Tide’s offense.
Mac Jones continued his spectacular season, throwing for 387 yards. He didn’t throw a touchdown pass, but he added a rushing touchdown in the win. It was the 4th time this year he has thrown for more than 380 yards.
Najee Harris did most of the scoring. He finished with 19 carries for 96 yards and 3 touchdowns. Harris now has 14 rushing TDs this season.
Again, the win came with a bit of bad news for the Tide.
Waddle suffered an ankle injury on the opening kickoff and Nick Saban revealed at halftime that he will miss the rest of the season. It is a huge blow for the Tide as Waddle led the team with 557 yards and 4 touchdowns prior to the game.
Nick Saban on Jaylen Waddle's season-ending injury pic.twitter.com/anwK5MPGcA
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 24, 2020
It’s possible, if not likely that Waddle, a junior, has played his last college game.
For Alabama, the game went on.
Alabama led 21-3 before Tennessee scored its first touchdown, a 38-yard pass from Jarrett Guarantano to Jalin Hyatt. Alabama then scored another 3 touchdowns to go up 42-10 before the Volunteers scored again.
Guarantano still had a decent day, throwing 2 touchdown passes without committing a turnover.
Alabama’s defense took advantage of Eric Gray’s fumble, however, when Malachi Moore recovered a strip and raced 28 yards for a TD.
The Crimson Tide, which improved to 5-0, will face Mississippi State next Saturday on Saban’s 69th birthday. Tennessee, which fell to 2-3, has a bye week before taking on Arkansas.