(1) Alabama 12 Tennessee 10: Post-game Thoughts

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A game not to be forgotten for a long time.

This old rivalry lived up to all it could be. Tennessee, a two-touchdown underdog, traveling into enemy territory. Alabama, an undefeated season in the making, ranked number one in the AP poll. A perfect setting for a blowout. Or, a memorable upset.

Neither happened.

But instead, what happened was the stuff of legend.

The Fourth Saturday in October, 2009. C. Cox/Getty Images.

The Fourth Saturday in October, 2009. C. Cox/Getty Images.

This is a game that will be reviewed over and over and over, on film and in the mind, just to try and figure out (1) what happened and (2) if the result was justified based on the play of both squads.

In the end, it was perhaps the sheer will and/or physical strength of the Alabama defensive front that won saved this game for the Crimson Tide. There were key stops and sacks. But, it was defensive lineman Terrence Cody’s fourth quarter plays that will live in the collective Crimson Tide consciousness for decades. Cody blocked two field goal attempts (from 43 and 44 yards) by Vol place kicker Daniel Lincoln in the fourth quarter – the last attempt if converted, with only a couple of seconds left on the game clock, would have given Tennessee a 13-12 shock win that would have reverberated throughout the south and the nation. Lincoln earlier had missed a 47 yard attempt just before the end of the first half. He ended the day 1 for 4 from the spot.

On the other side of the kicking game, Tide scoring king Leigh Tiffin accounted for all his side’s points, kicking field goals from 38, 50, 22, and then 49 yards.

But it was a Vol defense that in the second half stuffed the Alabama vaunted running game, making all of the game’s later theatrics possible. And, a newly-reborn Vol quarterback Jonathan Crompton that appears to have shrugged off all the old, stale jokes and criticisms that have been thrown his way over the past two years. And, a Vol gang-tackle-induced fumble by Heisman candidate Mark Ingram (his first lost fumble ever in 322 touches). And a converted on-sides kick immediately after the Vols scored the only touchdown of the day to maintain possession with only a bit more than a minute left in the game to set up the game winner attempt that sadly found flesh at the line of scrimmage.

See what I mean?

Well, I’ll just leave you with it. I’m too exhausted and emotionally spent to go on. On Sunday, I’ll come back with a game summary and some additional thoughts about a game that was both thrilling and killing.

A penny for your thoughts…

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    10 responses to “(1) Alabama 12 Tennessee 10: Post-game Thoughts”

    1. Globeflyer says :

      I am glad we beat your orange butts today, but I will give credit where it’s due. You came to play and we were lucky to win. We will take it. See you next year. RTR

    2. norcalvol says :

      Globeflyer:
      Indeed. This was a game worthy of both sides’ tradition. This would have been one for the ages even if both teams had been ranked in the top 5.
      What makes the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry so great is that the teams come to play.
      And today, they certainly did.
      I’m proud of our orange butts.
      You should be proud of the reserve that the crimson found in time to preserve an undefeated record.
      I’m proud that the respect served to each other over the years is still intact.
      I’m proud that the SEC can still serve up some old fashioned bad-assed football.
      Because that is what today was. Football played in the trenches. The last man standing wins.
      It was a war worthy remembering.
      I hope ‘Bama can beat LSU and then Florida.
      It would only be right.
      See you in Knoxville -2010.

    3. DW says :

      Fred — your last line nailed it — exhasted and emotionally spent! I never allowed myself to think that I would be watching the game with any hope left in the waning minutes (much less seconds) of the contest. It was a hell of a battle, and if the Tide goes all the way this year, this will be the one they look back at and say they were lucky to pull it off.
      The Vols defense did an outstanding job the whole day, and I believe they damaged Bama’s national standings quite a bit – no touchdown and Ingram less than 100yds(?). And how about our offense taking care of the ball, outgaining Bama and making a boat load of 1st downs!! Now if we can only get the special teams and kicking games on the same level. That leaves us with some high hopes for next year, huh?

      • norcalvol says :

        DW:
        High hopes indeed. We have exhibited steady improvement from game to game this season. That is a tribute to what Kiffin and Company are capable of doing. Let’s see if we can keep from having one of those “downers” after a big emotional battle. I’m optimistic that we will keep improving.
        6-6 will get us in a bowl, but a crappy one.
        7-5 would be a very fine season, and an OK bowl.
        8-4 would mean running the table the rest of the season. That would be monumental and a fitting way for Crompton, Berry, and others to leave with.
        I think the sky’s the limit in the coming few years.

    4. Sandy says :

      I guess I wasn’t so crazy with my prediction after all… missed it by this || much ;)

      Danielson had a foretelling comment when Lincoln hit the field goal in the 1st half. He mentioned that the kick and a low tragectory and whether that would be a factor later in the game.

      In fact, I’ll go so far to say that Cody didn’t actually block either one of those field goals, Lincoln kicked the ball right into him (although he is a BIG man).

      The more I watch Kiffin, the more I like his attitude and approach to the game. Let’s hope the improvement continues thru the rest of this season and on thru the next.

      • norcalvol says :

        Thank goodness you weren’t, Sandy!
        I remember Danielson’s comment too. [He's a very good commentator, by the way]
        And of course I agree 100% with the Kiffin comment. I’m a total believer.
        I write about Cody in the next upcoming post. The first block was not a block – Lincoln drilled in into his ribs below his left armpit! The second one though was clearly a block with his left paw.

        • Sandy says :

          Yes, he did get the 2nd block with his paw, but it was little over head high. There was some push into the backfield, but it was clearly a low kick.

    5. T K says :

      YES GUYS I WAS QUITE EXHAUSTED TOO. GREAT EFFORT AND THIS ONE ALMOST CAME OUR WAY. TWO COMMENTS:
      1)IF I HAD BEEN KIFFEN I WOULD HAVE HAD ON THE ORANGE JERSEYS ANYWAY, TAKE THE PENALTY AND LET TRADITION PLAY ITS COURSE. AND I DONT THINK BUT A FEW VOL FANS WOULD HAVE BEEN UPSET WITH HIM IF HE HAD DONE IT
      2)HAD THE GAME WINNING FG ATTEMPT NOT HAVE BEEN BLOCKED I BELIEVE IT WAS WIDE LEFT ANYWAY…….JUST AN OBSERVATION……NOTHING TO TAKE AWAY FROM THE GAME OR THE EFFORT….OPINIONS ANYONE?

    6. norcalvol says :

      I had the same look at the final kick – the photo indicates that possibility as well. But you never know – sometimes those crazy things move.
      I would have liked the orange jerseys, too.
      I have been pretty happy with reading a lot of comments written by Vol and Tide fans. The mutual respect thing seems to be back. There’s always the idiots that haven’t sobered up, too. The one negative is that some are calling for Lincoln’s head. I think that is ridiculous. First and foremost, didn’t Lincoln suffer an injury of sorts recently?

      • T K says :

        YES HE DID AND ACCORDING TO LINCOLN HE ALSO AGGRAVATED THIS PAST INJURY IN WARM UPS. THIS IS NOT, HOWEVER, TO BE TAKEN AS AN EXCUSE FOR THE KICK BEING BLOCKED FOR YOU BAMA FANS THAT MIGHT BE READING

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