5 Biggest Takeaways: Tennessee falls to No. 4 Alabama
Here are five takeaways from Tennessee’s 34-20 loss to No. 4 Alabama.
1. Josh Dobbs is the best option at quarterback: Dobbs is the starting quarterback. Not only should he have started the game, put he also made the case that he should have played all season. In an offensive scheme that is run-heavy with a lack of protection from an inexperienced offensive line, the Vols need a mobile quarterback to see consistent offensive production.
2. Marquez North is a human highlight reel: Marquez North led with 56 yards on four catches. His longest was a 22-yarder on third down that led to Tennessee’s first touchdown. The athletic sophomore made several highlight worthy catches that displayed his standout athleticism.
3. Tennessee’s defense was outmatched by Alabama: The Vols entered as the No. 19 total defense in the country, but looked incapable of stopping the Tide on most possessions. Alabama jumped out to a 20-0 lead and managed to hold momentum, despite Tennessee’s offensive improvement. Cameron Sutton, who has been one of the SEC’s best defensive backs this season, was dominated by Amari Cooper, who finished with 224 yards and two touchdowns on nine catches.
4. Jalen Hurd needs more touches: Despite the Vols struggles in the trenches, Hurd has managed to look impressive in his first season. However, the freshman had just 59 yards on 16 carries. In recent weeks, Hurd has nursed a “dinged” shoulder, but looks to be at full strength and should see an increase in touches during Tennessee’s final four games.
5. Despite their record, Vols have hope in rebuilding process: I’m just as sick of the phrase “moral victory” as any other college football fan. However, Tennessee looked impressive after responding to a 20-0 deficit. The Vols have the young talent across the board and have laid the foundation for a rising program, but must survive the 2014 season with six wins to keep optimism high.