Football Post-Game Notes: Tennessee 17, Alabama 13

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Saturday, October 23, 2004

Kenneth Darby
Kenneth Darby


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PREGAME NOTEBOOK:  The Alabama game captains for the Tennessee game were offensive tackle Wesley Britt (Cullman), linebacker Freddie Roach (Killen) and tight end Clint Johnston (Wetumpka) ... Tennessee won the toss and deferred ... Today's attendance was 107,017 here in Knoxville ...

STARTING LINEUP NOTEBOOK:  Alabama did not use any first-time starters in the game against Tennessee ... The UT game is just the second game this season in which the Crimson Tide has not used a first-time starter ... Junior defensive tackle Rudy Griffin (Hepzibah, Ga.) returned the UA lineup after one week absence as he started in place of senior Anthony Bryant (Newbern) ... Griffin has started seven of the eight games this year ...

POINTS OFF TURNOVERS:  Both Tennessee and Alabama scored touchdowns following a turnover in the first quarter ... Tennessee's Parys Haralson picked up a Spencer Pennington fumble on the second play from scrimage and scored on an 18-yard return with 14:15 left in the opening quarter ... Alabama's Tim Castille (Birmingham) scored on a two-yard run to cap a five-play, 44-yard drive following an Erik Ainge interception (DeMeco Ryans) at the UT 44-yard line ... For the season, Alabama has forced 19 turnovers and scored 73 points (10 TDs) off those turnovers ... UA opponents have forced 11 turnovers and scored 21 points (3 TDs) this season ...
 
TENNESSEE SERIES:  Alabama leads the all-time series with Tennessee, 43-37-7 since the first meeting in 1901 ... Tennessee has won nine of the last 10 meetings, including two in a row ... Coach Mike Shula is 0-2 as the Crimson Tide's head coach against  UT ... Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer is 10-2 in his career against Alabama ...
 
ROAD RECORD:  Alabama is 2-6 (.250) on the road in the Mike Shula era, including a 1-2 mark this season ... Alabama is 9-9 in its last 18 road games and 7-6 in its last 13 SEC road games ... Overall, Alabama is 226-118-12 all-time on the road ...

MISCELLANEOUS:  Alabama is now 1-8 (.111) under Shula when the opponent scores first, including an eight-game losing streak ... Also, Alabama is 0-8 under Shula when trailing at halftime ... Alabama saw its two-game winning streak end here today ...

SECOND QUARTER SCORING:  Alabama has scored in the second quarter in all eight games this season ... Senior kicker Brian Bostick (Cullman) gave Alabama a 10-7 lead with a 34-yard field goal with 13:20 left in the second quarter ...  Alabama has outscored the opposition 67-30 during the second quarter this year ...

SPENCER PENNINGTON NOTEBOOK:  Junior quarterback Spencer Pennington (Fayette) made his third start of the season and fourth in his Alabama career ... Pennington is 2-2 (.500) as Alabama's starting quarterback ... Pennington completed 14 of 28 passes for 113 yards and one interception in the loss ... Pennington had career highs today in completions, attempts and passing yards ... His previous best was nine completions (20 attempts) for 93 yards in a loss at Georgia last season in his first career start ...

KENNETH DARBY NOTEBOOK:  Sophomore tailback Kenneth Darby (Huntsville) ran 25 times for 99 yards in the game at Tennessee, missing the 100-yard barrier by one yard for the second time this season ... Darby also had 99 rushing yards in the 45-17 win over Kentucky two weeks ago ... For the season, Darby has 117 rushing attempts for 737 yards and six TDs ... Darby and scrimmage lead UA with six rushing TDs this season ...

OFFENSIVE NOTEBOOK:  Alabama was held to a season-low 105 rushing yards in the loss to Tennessee ... UA came in with the SEC best rushing average at 243.3 yards per game this season ... Sophomore fullback Tim Castille (Birmingham) has at least one rushing touchdown in three straight games and five of eight games this season for the Crimson Tide ... Sophomore wide receiver Tyrone Prothro (Heflin) caught five passes for 71 yards against the Vols ... Prothro is the only UA player with at least one pass reception in all eight games this season and has at least one catch in 14 straight games for the Tide ... Alabama threw for 113 yards in the loss to UT, the most passing yards since junior QB Brodie Croyle was injured in the third game of the season ...

DEFENSIVE NOTEBOOK:   The Crimson Tide held the Vols to 195 total yards today ... UT came into the game averaging more than 400 yards a game this season ... Tennessee is the third straight opponent with less than 200 total yards ... Overall, Bama has held five opponents below 200 yards this year ... UT had 132 passing yards in the win over Alabama, the seventh straight opponent to pass for less than 200 yards against UA this season ... The Bama defense held UT to 63 rushing yards (34 attempts), marking the fourth time this season an opponent had failed to rush for 100 yards against UA ... Alabama held Tennessee to just one yard of offense on 11 total plays in the first quarter half  Alabama held Tennessee to 53 total yards in the first half, but trailed 14-10 at halftime ... Junior linebacker DeMeco Ryans (Bessemer) recorded his first career interception as he picked off an Erik Ainge pass at the UT the 4-yard line with 7:48 left in first quarter ... Ryans had an excellent game against UT, with seven tackles, one TFL and one interception ... Senior linebacker Cornelius Wortham (Calhoun City, Miss.) added his first career interception as he picked off an Ainge pass at the Alabama two-yard line in the third quarter ... Ainge's second interception of the game came on a third-and-one from the UA three-yard line ... Wortham's interception was the second of the season and ninth of the year by the defense ... Alabama has at least one interception in six of the eight games this season ...

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTEBOOK:  Senior punter Bo Freelend (Eutaw) averaged 42.3 yards on eight punts in the game ... Freshman punter Jamie Christensen (Norcross, Ga.) had four kickoffs and three touchbacks against the Vols ... Senior kicker Brian Bostick (Cullman) scored seven points today ... Bostick nailed both field goal attempts, including a season-high 47-yard in the fourth quarter ...

POSTGAME QUOTES

ALABAMA HEAD COACH MIKE SHULA:

"It's a disappointing loss, obviously. Our guys fought hard. Our made a lot of plays, but didn't do enough offensively. Our defense played really well.

"The second play was a miscommunication. It's one we run often and well. When it was 14-10, we felt it could be our kind of day. There was the field goal and the big turnover. They had a big sack that took us way back. It was a great effort.

"There's some disappointed guys in that dressing room. It was a great effort on our part. Spencer Pennington  was gutsy. He got hit a couple of times. He has to work on bring more consistent.

"Today answered a lot of questions that we're doing a pretty good job on defense. You have to give Tennessee a lot of credit. Tennessee was a lot of the reason we didn't play as well. They're the best team we've played.

"The effort and the attitude are the biggest things about this game. It will be tough to regroup. We need the rest. When you lose, you want to get the taste out of our mouth. It's tough to swallow.

"We had guys with turned ankles and hyperextended knees coming back in the game. These upperclassmen are doing a good job.

"I thought Darby got better at the end. He laid it on the line. You come back to college to coach guys like that. Wortham's interception was a huge play. We've been doing that a lot this year. You have to keep believing and play every play.

"We wanted to take advantage of their aggressiveness and speed on defense. Our defense gives up one score and the punt return was in the middle of the field, didn't have great hang time and we didn't cover."

Spencer Pennington, QB

On the fumble on the Tide's first drive: "Bad plays are going to happen in the course of a ballgame. Fortunately for us we started early, and we had to maintain our focus and keep battling throughout the game and come back from that. We were able to come back and tie it up at 7-7. We just were not able to come out with a win tonight."

On the last pass that was intercepted with just under a minute remaining: "They had been running cover two, and we were in a four wide situation a lot. We were trying to get an in-cut about 20 yards down the field and I was going to throw to a spot, and unfortunately it was intercepted. I was just trying to make something happen, and the guy just made a good play on it."

With the way the defense was playing, did it take the pressure off to make spectacular plays: "The defense has been doing a great job. We were really confident in coming out tonight against Tennessee. They have been doing a great job of getting the offense really good field position the last couple of weeks. As for me I wanted to not force the ball and make turnovers or mistakes, and to keep our offense on the field because we knew our defense would do their job."

Thoughts as you entered the last drive: "This is it. This is what SEC football is all about. This Alabama and Tennessee game is special for a reason. We had two minutes left and we were driving the ball. Our offense was really fired up and we just knew we would get into the endzone and win the game."
 
DeMeco Ryans, LB

What was the game plan coming into tonight: "Coach Joe Hines came up with a good gameplan. Everyone believed in it and went out and played their best game. We fought hard. We knew we could stop them, but we just came up a little short."

What are the thoughts from your team after fighting this hard: "I really can't explain the feeling right now. It feels like someone just ripped your heart out. It is a bad feeling."

Your defense shutting down Tennessee's running game: "We knew the only way they were going to beat us was throwing the ball. They were going to have to make some big plays passing. We knew we could stop their running game and we had confidence in our defense to stop the run, and that is what we did."