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Jumbo Package, RTDB edition: Tide heavily favored over Hogs despite injured Tua

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Alabama Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. As usual, we will open by wrapping up the Tide’s 13th straight win over that putrid team from the hills.

First off, while we aren’t necessarily huge fans of the clickbait mill that is SDS, their collection of tweets from Tennessee fans who were mad about ESPN’s crew enjoying postgame cigars is amusing, as is the Fansided slideshow that some doofus wrote about all the ways that the officials screwed poor Tennessee.

Now that you’ve had some laughs with your morning coffee, let’s get to the recaps.

-- Tennessee’s Tim Gordon broke a 33-yard run early in the second quarter. Saban said after the game there were a few mistakes in fitting gaps and it looked like there was some pre-snap confusion among the two freshman middle linebackers and a lineman got to the second level to seal off Shane Lee to find a crease. It was the longest play of the day for Tennessee.

-- In another example of bending without breaking, the Vols reached the red zone four times and scored just one touchdown. In fact, Alabama scored as many touchdowns on Tennessee red-zone trips as the Vols did when factoring Trevon Diggs’ 99-yard fumble return score.

Mac Jones, Slade Bolden, Miller Forristall, Brian Robinson and even walk-on punter Ty Perine each responded to second-half challenges against the upset-minded Tennessee Volunteers.

When an ankle injury to Tua Tagovailoa in the waning minutes of the second quarter left the Bryant-Denny Stadium crowd holding its collective breath, Jones and the remaining cast of flip-card warriors had to keep their emotions in check as top-ranked Alabama held off Tennessee 35-13.

“I think our guys grinded it out and competed,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “It was a tough game. I know the expectation is we’re going to go out there and score 50.”

On some level, the Tide probably needed a game that was competitive into the second half, and the defense probably needed to experience the pressure of playing without knowing that the offense would blow the doors off of the other team. The run defense is a legitimate problem, and I’m not sure that there is an answer this season. The good news is that they did bow up in the red zone and scored on a turnover. That is the kind of defense we have this year, and those are the things that we need from them.

That, and they need to pray hard for the right ankle attached to Tua Tagovailoa.

According to “Pro Football Doc” David Chao, the tightrope procedure that was completed yesterday seems a bit aggressive in Tua’s case.

The procedure done last year and this year may have been done for insurance against future injury OR aggravation. There are doctors like Tua’s surgeon who are promoting this idea and, indeed, they may prove to be ahead of the curve.

Once again, to be clear, I am not being critical of the procedure. I am merely pointing out that this not the current norm in orthopedics, let alone with a high-level athlete. It certainly is not the norm in the NFL today.

He mentions Saquon Barkley, who was diagnosed with what looked to be a more severe high ankle sprain and returned in four weeks without surgery. It did seem a bit odd to me that the procedure would be necessary when he clearly was walking around on it, but if Dr. Waldrop thinks it will help him get back faster, so be it.

Another week, another dominant performance from Landon Dickerson and Jedrick Wills Jr.

Those big dudes are just nasty. They need to come out and run the ball down the Hogs’ throats on Saturday.

Speaking of Arkansas, the Tide is heavily favored to beat them without Tua.

What a referendum on the state of that program.

Alabama basketball held a closed scrimmage yesterday, and optimism abounds.

“I don’t have any set number, any x-number of wins in mind but if we aren’t the hardest playing team out there, then I’ll feel like I’m not doing my job.”

The Sanderson-era plaid jacket was a nod to the success of that era in Alabama basketball, Oats said.

“I thought I’d give a little throwback to the Plaid Palace,” Oats said. “Wimp gave me the sports coat. He’s been really good to me since we took the job (last March.) I tried to get him here tonight, but he was out of town. But I think it was enough to get the message across, that we want to get back to winning like they did when Wimp was here.”

The jury is obviously out on the results, but it’s hard not to like Coach Oats. He seems to have some Saban in him.

Last, Josh Jacobs is tearing it up in the pros.

We’ve seen that a time or three, eh?

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.