Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cooper and McCarron shine as ‘Bama rout Vols

Thanks to career-best performances from quarterback AJ McCarron and wide receiver Amari Cooper, the top-ranked Crimson Tide were able to light their sixth victory cigar in as many years, courtesy of a 44-13 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers.

Nick Saban, while at 'Bama, has yet to lose to the Vols

While the Alabama defense kept UT quarterback Tyler Bray in check, the ‘Bama offense showcased their balance in grand fashion.

To expound on the aforementioned success of McCarron and Cooper, the Tide quarterback completed 17-of-22 passes against the Vols for a career-high 306 yards, and a career-tying four touchdowns. As for Cooper, the ‘Bama standout garnered 162 yards on the night, the most receiving yards ever by an Alabama freshman. Cooper caught a total of seven passes, two of which were touchdowns.

On the ground, the Alabama offense was once again able to wear down the opposition, thanks to a bountiful mix of talent across the offensive line, and at running back. Freshman T.J. Yeldon led the way for the Tide with 129 yards and two touchdowns, on 15 carries. Eddie Lacy, while kept out of the endzone, churned for an impressive 79 yards on 17 carries.

In all total, the Alabama offense gained 539 yards against a suspect Tennessee defense, while only allowing 282 yards to the highly-potent UT offense, led by Tyler Bray. Alabama held Bray to a mere 184 yards through the air, as the junior completed only 13-of-27 passes. The Tennessee signal-caller was also victimized by the ‘Bama defense in the form of two interceptions. Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley intercepted a Bray pass in the first half of play, and safety Robert Lester halted a potential UT scoring drive by intercepting a pass in the endzone.

Derek Dooley remains winless against Alabama as a head coach

In addition to limiting the effectiveness of Bray, the Alabama defense also held talented wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson to a single catch of 25 yards, while restricting Justin Hunter to only four receptions, most of which were late in the game when the contest was very much out of reach.

With the impressive victory over Tennessee, the Crimson Tide improve to 7-0 overall, and 4-0 in the SEC. Alabama will now return home to face an unblemished Mississippi State team in what should be a hallmark contest for both programs, in respect to the 2012 season.

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