Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 10/20/12
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Alabama may have a championship-caliber offense to go along with its best-in-the-nation defense. A.J. McCarron threw four touchdown passes and passed for a career-high 306 yards Saturday as the top-ranked Crimson Tide trounced Tennessee 44-13 at Neyland Stadium. Freshman receiver Amari Cooper caught seven passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns, while freshman running back T.J. Yeldon ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Tyler Bray went 13-of-27 for 184 yards with two interceptions and no touchdown passes for Tennessee. The Volunteers had scored at least 31 points in each of their first six games, but they couldn't muster much offense against an Alabama team that entered Saturday leading the country in total defense, scoring defense, run defense and pass efficiency defense. Tennessee (3-4, 0-4 SEC) has lost 11 of its last 12 SEC games and is 0-14 against the Top 25 since Derek Dooley took over the program in 2010. The different circumstances facing each team were evident from a look at the stands, as more than one-third of the 102,455 fans were cheering for Alabama (7-0, 4-0). By the midway point of the fourth quarter, many of the Tennessee fans already had headed to the parking lot. The Vols pulled out all the stops in their attempt to beat a top-ranked team for the first time since their 38-20 triumph over Auburn on Sept. 28, 1985. No such luck this time. Cooper put Alabama ahead opened the scoring and put the Crimson Tide ahead to stay by getting all alone in the right corner of the end zone for a 23-yard catch midway through the first quarter. Tennessee's beleaguered defense had forced a three-and-out on Alabama's opening possession, but the Tide scored on four of their next five drives to take a 23-10 halftime lead. Alabama's lone scoreless series the rest of the first half came when Cade Foster was wide right on a 44-yard field-goal attempt. The Vols' best hopes for a second-half comeback disappeared when they lost the ball on downs after reaching the Alabama 33 early in the third quarter. After Bray threw a third-and-1 incompletion, Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson took a fourth-down snap out of the Vols' "Beast" formation and was stopped short of the first down. Alabama then put the game away by reaching the end zone on its next three drives. McCarron connected with Cooper on a 49-yard touchdown pass that extended the Tide's lead to 30-10 late in the third quarter. McCarron found Kenny Bell for a 39-yard completion that made it 37-10, then Yeldon raced 43 yards around the right end with 9:07 left in the game. Before the game, Tennessee honored former Vols coach Phillip Fulmer and his 1997 SEC championship team that featured Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who made it to campus for the ceremony. Dooley returned to the sideline less than two weeks after undergoing surgery on a fractured right hip. Dooley had worked from the sideline last week in a 41-31 loss at Mississippi State and said he felt uncomfortable not being able to look his players in the eyes. Tennessee officials said before the game he'd sit on a stool throughout the game, but he instead worked the sidelines on crutches while frequently being shadowed by an officer as well as assistant coach Antone Davis.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record


Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker