What others are saying about Alabama vs. Tennessee

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, left, pats Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley on the back after his Tide beat the Vols 44-13. (AP photo Wade Payne)

A look at what some of the out-of-state news reporting organizations are saying about Alabama’s 44-13 win over Tennessee:

The Commercial Appeal of Memphis
KNOXVILLE — Phil Fulmer admitted that yes, indeed, it pained him.

It pained him to see all those Alabama fans in the stadium. Pained him that there were nearly as many fans wearing crimson as orange.

“There were days it was hard for them to get tickets,” he said.

Yeah, there were.

But those days are not these days. Those days exist only in the memory and on the pregame highlight films.

Tennessee opened the night by toasting Fulmer, Peyton Manning and the ’97 team that won the SEC championship. The idea was to inspire the Vols to rise up and defeat their longtime foe.

Instead, it was just sad. Sad to be reminded how far this program has fallen. Sad to see the stark difference between then and now.

Alabama defeated Tennessee for the sixth straight time Saturday night. This time, the final was 44-13. But it wasn’t even the score that defined this night. It was the wistful quality of it all.

The Tennessean of Nashville
KNOXVILLE — Sometimes an endorsement does more harm than good. That’s the case with some post-game comments made by Alabama Coach Nick Saban after the Crimson Tide waxed Tennessee 44-13 on Saturday night.

Without being prompted, Saban spoke highly of the job being done at UT by Derek Dooley.

“I think that Derek is doing a fantastic job,” Saban said. “They have been better and better every year we’ve played them. We were fortunate today that our defense played well enough to keep their high-powered offense to just 13 points.”

I suspect Tennessee fans don’t want to hear it. When an opposing coach offers up such praise, you have to wonder if there’s an ulterior motive.

In short, why wouldn’t Saban want Dooley to continue at UT? In their three matchups, Alabama has outscored the Vols 122-29.

Alabama defensive back Robert Lester (37) intercepts a pass intended for Tennessee wide receiver Alton Howard (2). (AP photo by Wade Payne)

Knoxville News Sentinel
The cheers washed down Saturday night over a Tennessee championship team and a Hall of Fame coach.

Neyland Stadium was filled, 102,455 strong, an old rival was in the house and the good vibes flowed.

Then the game kicked off.

Alabama 44, Tennessee 13.

Look hard enough and there is a silver lining.

That Michael Palardy field goal with four minutes left was the first time since 2007 the Vols have scored more than 10 points against the Crimson Tide.

“We got whipped by a great football team, in about every phase,’’ UT coach Derek Dooley said.

Knoxville News Sentinel
Tyler Bray’s started 2012 started with eye-popping numbers and a hope that this could be a season filled with defining moments that might propel him into the nation’s elite quarterbacks.

In four frustrating SEC losses, there have been defining moments, but not the kind Tennessee anticipated.

Bray couldn’t shake a “jumpy” start in Tennessee’s 44-13 loss to Alabama Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. He finished 13 for 27 for 184 yards and had two interceptions and no touchdowns.

After a long wait, a media relations representative announced that Bray would not be meeting with reporters as he had after every game this year.

“Our quarterback didn’t play well,” said Tennessee coach Derek Dooley. “I’m not sure why.”

Chattanooga Times Free Press
KNOXVILLE — There was plenty of crimson and white in the Neyland Stadium stands.

There was even more of it on the field, and Tennessee could do nothing about it.

The Alabama machine kept rolling through its competition Saturday night, as the top-ranked Crimson Tide were well-represented in the crowd and devastating on the field in a 44-13 whipping of the Volunteers.

“It was disappointing we couldn’t go four quarters with these guys, and we thought we could,” Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said. “Quite frankly, I thought we played well enough for a while on defense to hang in there, but you’ve got to get points. We just joined the ranks of the rest of the country.

“We got whipped by a great football team in just about every phase.”

The talented Tide dominated their annual October rivalry game with the Vols for the third consecutive time by 31 points and pushed their average margin of victory in their six-game run to 23 points.

USA Today
There was a time, not so long ago, that Tennessee owned Alabama. Yes, it’s true. I promise.

From 1995-2006, Tennessee went 10-2 against the Crimson Tide. For nearly a generation (and nearly a lifetime, in college football years), the Volunteers knew little but joy on the third Saturday of October.

These were the glory days under Phil Fulmer, the former UT head coach who was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in May. In 1998, Fulmer led the Volunteers to the program’s first national championship since 1951.

But something funny happened in 2007: Nick Saban rolled into Tuscaloosa. His arrival, in conjunction with Tennessee’s decline under Fulmer, Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley, has pushed this rivalry firmly into Alabama’s corner.

Let’s put Alabama’s dominance against UT into perspective.

After a 44-13 win on Saturday, Saban is 6-0 against the Volunteers. His teams have outscored UT by a combined 204-65. That’s an average final score of roughly 34-11.

The Associated Press
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Practicing against the nation’s best defense each day apparently is helping Alabama develop a championship-caliber offense.

A.J. McCarron threw for a career-high 306 yards and four touchdowns Saturday night as the top-ranked Crimson Tide trounced Tennessee 44-13 at Neyland Stadium. The Tide have scored at least 30 points in each of their first seven games, the longest streak to start a season in school history.

McCarron’s four touchdown passes matched a career high set twice previously. He has 16 touchdown tosses with no interceptions this season. The junior quarterback called it the most complete game Alabama has played all year.

“We set the tone and we stayed on it,” he said. “We never let up, and that was the biggest thing Coach keeps preaching.”

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