If your smoke alarms are going off in Tuscaloosa, it might be from the cigars at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama was in danger of losing its second straight game to Tennessee, something that hadn’t happened since the early 2000s. But that stretch lives on thanks to Alabama’s dominant second half.
The 11th-ranked Crimson Tide wrecked No. 17 Tennessee in the final 30 minutes of the game to take a 34-20 victory home.
At the half, the Volunteers led 20-7, and all momentum was on their side as they scored a touchdown just before the first half ended. But Bama came out firing.
It took just two plays for Alabama to swing the momentum back its way in the second half. The first play was a 29-yard rush by Jase McClellan. The next was a 46-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Milroe to Isaiah Bond to cut their deficit to six.
Bama forced a three-and-out, kicked a field goal and then forced a turnover on downs. In good field position, the Tide needed just five plays to take the lead. McClellan ran for a 5-yard score, and the ensuing PAT gave them a 24-20 lead.
After another three-and-out, Bama responded with another field goal after a 15-play drive, going up seven with 8:17 left in the game. But the big blow came on the defensive side of the ball.
On Tennessee’s third play of its ensuing drive, Joe Milton was sacked by Chris Braswell, lost the football and Jihaad Campbell recovered and took it to the end zone for another Bama touchdown. It put the Crimson Tide up 34-20 with just over seven minutes to go.
Bama outscored Tennessee 27-0 in the second half.
McClellan ran for 115 yards on 27 carries, and Jermaine Burton caught a touchdown for Alabama.
Bama, now 7-1, will host No. 19 LSU in two weeks, while the 5-2 Vols head to Kentucky next week.