Tennessee finally snapped their 15-game losing streak against Alabama on a last-second field goal Saturday in a shootout between two Heisman-hopeful quarterbacks.
Alabama finally got their Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Bryce Young, back after battling a shoulder injury for the past two weeks. Young did everything he could to give the Crimson Tide a chance to win the game, throwing for 455 yards and two touchdowns.
Just like Bryce Young, Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker also put up big stats, throwing for 385 yards and five touchdowns. Hooker’s one blemish of the night was an interception by Alabama’s DeMarcco Hellams in the third quarter, the first interception thrown by Hooker all year. Hooker was able to be so successful thanks to his star receiver Jalin Hyatt recording 207 receiving yards on just six catches. Five of his six catches went for touchdowns. The Alabama secondary was not able to guard him all night long.
Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs also had a big game in the ground game, rushing for 103 yards on 24 carries and scoring three touchdowns. This was the third week in a row Gibbs rushed for over 100 yards. In the passing game, tight end Cameron Latu had his best game of the season, catching six balls for 90 yards as well as catching a touchdown from Bryce Young on a crucial fourth and goal play.
For the third time this season, Alabama had double-digit penalties called on them. Saturday, against Tennessee, they were flagged a school record 17 times for 130 yards, and they came at the worst times. The Crimson Tide were trending towards this record from the start of the game, as they were flagged seven times in the first quarter alone.
With under four minutes left in a tie game, Alabama drove down the field and put themselves in a position with 15 seconds left to kick a 50-yard field goal for the win, but kicker Will Reichard missed it to the right.
Just three plays later, Tennessee worked their way into position for kicker Chase McGrath to kick the game-winning field goal as time expired. Seconds later, as the band played “Rocky Top,” Shields-Watkins Field quickly filled with Tennessee fans and cigar smoke as the Vols could finally celebrate a victory over Alabama for the first time since 2006.
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