The top-ranked Alabama football team played a rivalry game with Tennessee on Saturday, and even with UA as an overwhelming favorite there were questions to be answered. Here are four of them:
1. Will Tennessee score?
The Volunteers hadn’t scored a touchdown since the first half of a game against UMass on Sept. 23. Tennessee’s offense still hasn’t found the end zone since, but the Vols did get there on a 97-yard interception return in the third quarter.
2. Is Jalen Hurts due for a breakout passing game?
Alabama’s quarterback still hasn’t broken the 250-yard barrier in a game, but considering he checked out early in the third quarter after going13 for 21 for 198 yards with a touchdown, you could say this was a positive performance. Hurts continues to show poise and worked the middle of the field well. He still hasn’t thrown an interception this season.
3. Can Alabama solve its punt return problems?
Catching punts and holding onto them is still a problem. Xavian Marks had five returns for 25 yards and had a long one called back for holding, but he also lost a fumble and muffed another put reception. ALabama still has a lot of work to do in this area.
4. Will the Crimson Tide avoid the upset bug?
Clemson, Washington and Washington State – all playoff contenders – fell from the ranks of the undefeated the previous week. Alabama notched its 72nd straight win against an unranked team and extended its winning streak over Tennessee to 11 games. UA looked a little ragged at times in the first half, but got it together and put the Volunteers away in emphatic fashion.