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Tide silences Volunteers with best half of season

Things looked dire for the Alabama Crimson Tide throughout the first half on the Third Saturday in October.

With Joe Milton III leading the Volunteers on an 8-play, 75 yard touchdown drive followed up by a sluggish start for Alabama’s offense, the matchup got off to the worst start imaginable.

Jermaine Burton was able to cut the Tennessee 13-point lead to six with a second quarter touchdown on the first drive that Alabama was able to really move the ball — but other than that — it was an extremely ugly first half for Alabama offensively.

In a tale-of-two-halves afternoon, the Tide flipped the script on both sides of the ball in the second half, scoring 27 unanswered points to defeat Tennessee after falling to the Vols in the epic matchup last season in Knoxville.

It was truly the best, and most complete, half of football for an Alabama team that has struggled all year to fully put it together. After being gashed up and down the field in the first half by Joe Milton, Alabama’s defense completely shut down Tennessee in the second.

As for the offense, the second half effort might have even been more impressive.

The Tide came out swinging on the first drive, with a touchdown drive to cut the Vols lead to 20-14 in just two plays including a Jalen Milroe 46-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Bond:

From that moment, Alabama controlled the rest of the game, having their way with the Vols offense and steadily moving the ball both with the run and the pass.

Jase McClellan had probably his best game of the season, rushing for 115 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

Milroe finished 14/21 with 220 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception that occurred in the first half.

The game was ultimately put out of reach with about seven minutes left via a fumble recovery touchdown forced by Chris Braswell and recovered by Jihaad Campbell.

Enjoy those cigars, Bama fans. Next up is a bye week before another huge test against LSU in two weeks.

Follow Michael Brauner on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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