Alabama has had a knack for getting off to some slow starts this season, giving their opponents some confidence. It may juts be a matter of time before Alabama starts flexing some muscle against the Vols, but at halftime this SEC rivalry is all tied at 7-7 in a defensive battle.
Alabama running back Derrick Henry ran 20 yards for the first score of the game midway through the first quarter, but the Vols answered. Tennessee went 75 yards on 10 plays to even the score at 7-7 with Joshua Dobbs finding Josh Smith for an 11-yard touchdown inside the red zone.
Tennessee owns the upper hand in total yardage, 177-133, and the Vols have limited Alabama’s running game to just 40 yards so far. Tennessee has also done a decent job getting off the field, holding Alabama to two-of-six on third-down opportunities while the offense has converted five of nine. Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is a bit upset at the officiating, having seen his Vols called for five penalties in the first half. Regardless, Tennessee has more than held their own in Bryant-Denny and will be in position to win this one in the second half if it continues to hold Alabama down.
The Crimson Tide got a bit banged up in the first half as well. Safeties Eddie Jackson and Ronnie Harrison were each injured in the first half.