Oct. 24, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
Seven Alabama players were recognized for their outstanding play by the coaching staff following the Crimson Tide's 37-6 victory Saturday night over Tennessee as announced by head coach Nick Saban. Wide receiver Marquis Maze and offensive guard Alfred McCullough were named players of the week on offense while linebackers Dont'a Hightower, Nico Johnson and Courtney Upshaw represented the defense. On special teams, Hardie Buck and Cade Foster were selected.
Maze led all receivers with five catches for 106 yards. It was the second 100-yard game of Maze's career and he is now seventh on the all-time UA receiving list with 1,699 yards. He had a 69-yard catch in the game, which was his longest of the season and the second longest of his career. McCullough stepped in for an injured Anthony Steen at right guard and answered with the highest grade on the Alabama offense line in the victory over the Volunteers. The senior had no penalties, no sacks, no pressures and no missed assignments as the Crimson Tide offense totaled 437 yards.
Hightower and Johnson led a defense that surrendered just 155 total yards and six points to Tennessee. The Volunteers did not have a first down in the second half and were limited to just 41 yards over the final 30 minutes. Hightower, who was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, was credited with seven tackles, one sack, one interception, two pass break-ups and three quarterback hurries. Johnson tallied five total stops and broke up a pass. Upshaw had seven tackles with one sack and a forced fumble. Alabama now leads the nation in all four major defensive categories - rushing defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense.
Foster handled all kickoffs and connected on his only field goal attempt of the night. He booted a 45-yarder that increased Alabama's lead to 30-6 with 11:22 left in the game. Foster had one touchback and the Vols had an average drive start of the 26-yard line on his eight kickoffs. Buck is a member of the kickoff coverage and punt return teams. He was credited with one tackle inside the 20 on kickoff and also had an assist.