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Tennessee falls to Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 34-20
October 21, 2023, 9:51 p.m.

vols fall to alabama
Photo courtesy of UT Athletics

TUSCALOOSA, AL – Despite a strong first half from No. 17/15 Tennessee, it could not hold off No. 11/8 Alabama's second-half surge as the Vols suffered just their second loss of the season, 34-20, at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.

Alabama (7-1, 5-0 SEC) outscored Tennessee 27-0 in the second half as it erased a 20-7 halftime deficit.

Quarterback Joe Milton III finished the game 28-of-41 through the air with 271 yards passing and a pair of first-half touchdowns. Milton added 59 yards on the ground – leading UT in rushing on the day.

Sophomore wide receiver Squirrel White, an Alabama native, was Milton's favorite target as the duo connected 10 times for 111 yards and a score. Tight end McCallan Castles hauled in Milton's second touchdown pass – finishing the game with two receptions for 12 yards.

The Vols (5-2, 2-2 SEC) marched down the field on the game's opening drive, going 75 yards on eight plays. Milton punctuated the drive, finding an outstretched White down the sidelines for a 39-yard touchdown strike.

Placekicker Charles Campbell gave Tennessee a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter as he hit field goals of 24 and 26 yards, respectively.

The Tide struggled throughout the opening quarter, punting three times, and losing a fumble but pieced together a nine-play, 59-yard drive to open the second quarter. Alabama capped the drive as quarterback Jalen Milroe hit wide receiver Jermaine Burton in the endzone for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Tennessee answered late in the first half as Milton and Castles connected on a six-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone with just 12 seconds remaining. The Vols drove 80 yards on 10 plays and took a 20-7 lead into the break.

Alabama mounted a comeback in the third frame, scoring a pair of touchdowns – a 46-yard scoring pass from Milroe to wideout Isaiah Bond and a 5-yard rush to the endzone from running back Jase McClellan. In between, Will Reichard knocked through a 42-yard field goal as the Crimson Tide took a 24-20 lead into the fourth quarter.

The home side extended its lead in the game's final frame as Reichard hit a 50-yard field goal before Alabama scooped up a Tennessee fumble and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown.

Milroe was 14-of-21 against the Vols through the air with 220 passing yards, a pair of touchdowns and an interception. Burton and Bond finished the game with 62 and 77 yards receiving, respectively, while McClellan had 27 rushes for 115 yards.

Defensive back Tamarion McDonald led the Vols with 10 tackles, while Gabe Jeudy-Lally added five tackles – one for a loss – and one sack. Senior defensive back Jaylen McCollough finished the game with seven tackles and an interception.

The Vols outgained the Tide offensively, 404-358.

Next weekend, Tennessee stays on the road, traveling north of the border to battle Kentucky Saturday night at Kroger Field in Lexington. ESPN will televise the matchup with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. ET.

Source: UT Athletics

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