The victory snapped a 15-year losing streak against Nick Saban since taking over in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which spanned 105 meetings dating back to 1901. Alabama has allowed so many points to any opponent in a game since 1907; Tennessee’s 52 points are the fourth most all-time points allowed in Crimson Tide football history.
But even beyond the team accomplishments, there are some individual performances that resonate throughout Tennessee football history, including that of wide receiver Jalin Hyatt. Younger from Irmo, South Carolina, had six catches for 207 yards and was on the receiving end of all of Hendon Hooker’s touchdown passes. The five touchdowns broke the Tennessee single-game school record (which was held by 12 players, including teammate Cedric Tillman), and those two scores were huge turning points in the victory.
Hyatt announced the Alabama defense early with his speed for a 36-yard touchdown on a 76-second drive to answer the Crimson Tide’s game-tying score and give Tennessee a 14–7 lead. Moments later, Alabama’s mistakes gave the Tennessee offense a short field, and Hooker took advantage, connecting with Hyatt again to extend the lead to 21-7.
While Hyatt’s totals were certainly eye-popping, the real swing of the game from him came in a second half that could best be identified as back-breaking touchdowns for Alabama’s defense. It was at this point that Hyatt’s dominance really became apparent against the Crimson Tide’s secondary.
First, he broke loose for a 60-yard touchdown en route to the third quarter …
… Then lost his 78th, catch-and-run score in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
Both touchdowns gave Tennessee the lead that Alabama would carry, but Hyatt tied the game 49-49 with a 13-yard touchdown reception — his fifth of the night — in the fourth quarter. Just over four minutes left.
Hyatt’s emergence as a star has been a major storyline in Tennessee’s win over the past month. Saturday’s record-setting performance marked the third time in four games that he’s recorded multiple receiving touchdowns, and all came amid the Vols’ missing starting wide receiver Cedric Tillman with an ankle injury.
With Tillman back in the lineup, this Tennessee passing attack will now look competitive. Ohio State One of the best in the country. Having the combination of elite quarterback play and multiple high-level receiving options is a rarity in college football LSU Shown in 2019, it would power a national championship run. Such talk felt premature for Tennessee before the weekend, but after beating Alabama and jumping into the top five of the college football rankings, it’s time to start running blocks like other national championship contenders in 2022.
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