We’re in the dog days of the offseason, but that can’t stop us from revisiting some of the high points of the season. And putting up 49 points on Tennessee in their house certainly qualifies, I think. So, without further adieu, here are all seven touchdowns from this past season’s beatdown of the Volunteers.
2nd and 3: The offense started on its own 9 yard line but has driven down to the Tennessee 29 yard line. Bama has 11 personnel out there in the shotgun. Calvin Ridley and Gehrig Dieter are bunched on the left, and ArDarius Stewart is on the right. Josh Jacobs is to the right of Hurts. Ridley motions into the backfield and takes the handoff from Jalen Hurts. Ridley keeps going to the right, and he tosses it to Stewart on the reverse. Tennessee bit hard on Ridley’s rightward movement; and, with Dieter blocking his man, there’s a lot of green space for the speedy Stewart.
Stewart follows Dieter’s block, makes like he’s going to the sideline, then cuts back inside of Dieter. While all of this has been happening, Hurts has run out ahead and to the flank of Stewart to screen his advance. He doesn’t throw the most technical of blocks, but he gets in the defensive back’s way and keeps the lane open for Stewart to scamper into the endzone.
So, to recap. Dieter engages the corner at around the 21 yard line and drives him back, eventually shoving him on his back at the 10 yard line. Hurts runs downfield and throws a crucial block. You have to love the attitude.
3rd and 7: The Vols are on the Bama 37 after a good punt return and a personal foul from Keith Holcombe. Normally, that would be cause for concern; but the defense just does its thing.
Tennessee has five wide with two bunched left and trips right. One receiver on the left motions into the backfield on Dobbs’ right hip. It’s supposed to be a screen to the receiver, but Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson blow this up from the get-go. Foster blitzes from the middle and disrupts the receiver, and Anderson beats the right tackle with ease. Dobbs just lofts it to where his man should be; but he pitches it right to Ronnie Harrison, who takes it 58 yards for the touchdown. Once Foster saw the pick, he scans around, looking for somebody, anybody to block. Harrison didn’t need it; but, again, you have to love that attitude from guys who aren’t touching the ball.
Oh yeah, Alabama has now scored enough to win the game. They’re not done, though.
2nd and 14: Here’s what I said about this play from my Film Room right after the game.
2nd and 14: After the costly turnover on the previous drive, Cool Hand Jalen has responded admirably. He converted a 3rd and long through the air, and the offense is moving. Alabama’s has its trusty 11 personnel out of the shotgun with Josh Jacobs in the backfield. TE Miller Forristall is the H-back on the left. Stewart is wide right. Forristall comes behind the line to the right. DE Corey Vereen is left unblocked, and he cheats inside a little. Hurts keeps it and takes off. He runs parallel to the line, patiently waiting for the blocks to develop. Once they do, he cuts it upfield. Forristall gets an excellent block on the defensive back. Stewart blocks his man just enough, and Hurts turns the jets on. He outraces the rest of the secondary, and Alabama is back ahead by two possessions.
1st and goal: Bama’s in the pistol with Damien Harris as the back. O.J. Howard’s at H-back, and he motions right to left. Stewart and Trevon Diggs are lined up to the right. It’s just a read option for Hurts. The defensive end comes inside to play Harris, so Hurts pulls and scoots to the outside. The nickelback also got sucked inside, making it easy for Hurts to go around him and for Diggs to block him. Stewart blocks the corner just enough, and Hurts dashes in for the touchdown.
1st and goal: The offense is down to the Tennessee 1 yard line after Hurts found Howard for 23 yards. They quickly get set with Hurts under center and Josh Jacobs as the lone setback. Howard and the three receivers are all to the right. Hurts bootlegs to the right; and, while Ridley has a step on the defensive back, he quickly makes up his mind to run it in when he sees the defenders with their backs turned. One defensive back tries to stop him, but he fails miserably. Touchdown Alabama.
4th and 5: The Vols manage a paltry five yards on their three plays this drive. Trevor Daniel boots it a respectable 49 yards, and Eddie Jackson fields it at the 21 yard line. He brushes off one defender’s arm and takes a couple steps to his right. Two players in puke, inside-of-a-pumpkin orange close in; so Jackson stops and jukes around them to the left. Josh Jacobs comes flying in with an excellent block, and Jackson has a lane. He runs through the punter’s ankle-grabbing attempted block and hits the jets. He gone. The Tide have now scored on offense, defense, and special teams.
2nd and 9: It’s a tight formation with 12 personnel. Hurts is in the gun, and Bo Scarbrough is to his right and a yard back. It’s a simple inside zone. Bradley Bozeman and Ross Pierschbacher block the nose guard while Cam Robinson seals off the defensive end. Pierschbacher turns and picks up the weakside linebacker. The middle linebacker plays it poorly and gets caught up in the traffic. Scarbrough powers through the hole, keeping those legs churning. The safety takes an awful angle, and Scarbrough leaves him in the dirt. Defenders chase after him - and Micah Abernathy does come close before pulling up with an apparent leg injury - but to no avail. It’s touchdown #7, and Scarbrough can’t even get a high five.