Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday Hangover: Tennessee

If you're not familiar with the Tennessee-Alabama rivalry, you might be wondering, "Why is Derrick Henry smoking a cigar beside Coach Saban?" 

The tradition is that if the Tide wins against Tennessee, one of its most storied rivals, the team smokes cigars after the game. 

Even though the Vols don't have a great record this year, they played with fire on Saturday. Alabama, on the other hand, looked tired. The upcoming bye week is coming at the right time or could have come sooner. And Tennessee, like Georgia and Texas A&M, had a bye week before they played the Crimson Tide. 

Tennessee played a good game, especially at getting pressure on QB Jacob Coker. 

When Tennessee went up in the fourth quarter after a quick-as-hell scoring drive, I had grave concerns.  

With 5:43 left in the game and starting on their own 29, the Tide then marched down the field to score. Key were two long passes on third downs to Stewart and Ridley. They finally got the run game going consistently, and Henry punched it in for a touchdown with 2:24 left on the scoreboard. 

Besides an interception Humphrey should have had early on during Tennessee's attempt at a drive, the Tide D played superbly. On one sack, Jonathan Allen got past the center and bull rushed a guard to slam into Dobbs. The very next play resulted in another sack by Ryan Anderson. But Dobbs lost the ball, and big A'Shawn Robinson nabbed the ball in mid-air with his left hand and rumbled his way to Tennessee's 4-yard line. 

Game over. 

Henry had a rough first half but did much better in the second half. He had 143 net total yards with two touchdowns. 

Statistically, Coker had a fine game: 21 pass completions on 27 attempts for 247 yards. However, I'm still concerned he's staring at certain receivers and not looking off the secondary. 

Both Eddie Jackson and Ronnie Harrison, the number one and two safeties on the depth chart, got banged up in the game, but Jackson was back out there in the second half. The week off will do them some good. 

I'm still concerned about the offense. 

Kenyan Drake has not be the multidimensional weapon like he was in the first half of last season before he got hurt. I hope he busts loose versus LSU in two weeks.

The blocking must get better, especially when passing the ball. 

Here's to some good rest and recovery. 

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