The Tennessee Volunteers went on the road and took a top-5 Alabama team into the final quarter. The final score does not depict just how close this game was; the Vols played hard enough to win for all four quarters. So, what happened?
Hendon Hooker continues to impress
Coming into the season, Tennessee fans were unsure of who was going to be the man under center for the Volunteers. That question has since been answered with the phenomenal play of Hendon Hooker. The Virginia Tech transfer threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns against the ‘Tide, including a 70-yard touchdown pass to Cedric Tillman.
Hooker kept the Vols in the game all the way into the fourth quarter. He threw his first interception as a starter on a miscommunication with his receiver that put the game out of reach for the Vols and began Alabama’s fourth quarter run. Hooker finished the game 19-28 with 282 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 interception.
The 4th Quarter dooms Vols
The score was 17-24 in favor of the ‘Tide entering the fourth quarter; it appeared that Tennessee was going to take this game down to the final minutes. Queue the unlikely miscues and iffy officiating. Alabama sophomore quarterback Bryce Young ran the ball in from 6 yards out to open the fourth quarter scoring.
However, Young fumbled the football as he was breaking the plane of the end-zone. After further review, the official confirmed the fumble but said it was recovered by Alabama. The only problem was Makai Hadden of Tennessee came out of the pile with the ball. This call, as well as the Hooker interception, took all the wind out of Tennessee’s upset-minded sails.
The Vols enter a bye week as Josh Heupel gets his first chance to show fans how well his teams prepare for opponents coming off a bye. The Vols will travel to Lexington and play SEC East rival Kentucky November 6th. This bye week is timely as Tennessee looks to get fully healthy for the first time all season.
Score prediction: Tennessee Volunteers 56 Bye Week 0.