Tennessee football’s top five performers in 52-24 loss at Alabama

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Oct 23, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Tennessee Volunteers defensive lineman Byron Young (6) sacks Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

For three quarters and about another five minutes, Tennessee football did almost everything possible to stay in the game with the Alabama Crimson Tide. However, the Vols finally relented thanks to a lack of depth at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday night, and they got torched for a blowout loss in the end.

Alabama scored 28 points in the fourth quarter and the final 21 points in the game. That doesn’t mean that the defense didn’t play well for a while. It just means that the defense is too thin right now to be able to hang for four quarters, especially if the offense doesn’t move the ball enough.

Still, plenty of players on both sides of the ball had a hand in keeping this game close for as long as they did. Defensive guys who played well just had to play too many snaps in the end, which caused them to wilt, and offensive guys got desperate trying to make plays. These were Tennessee football’s top five performers in the Vols’ 52-24 loss at Alabama.

5
Byron Young
Edge rusher Junior

1 sack, 3 QB hurries, 6 total tackles (2 solo)

Early in the year, Tyler Baron had to do all the work as the edge rusher with Roman Harrison being the contributor. However, Byron Young’s eligibility starting with the third game of the season has made a huge difference, and he had somewhat of a breakout performance against an elite team Saturday night with his effort.

Young took advantage of Bryce Young’s lack of mobility in comparison to other quarterbacks the Vols have faced, and he was in the quarterback’s grill all night. In the first half, with the score tied at 7, Young made the play to give the Vols the lead, as he came away with a sack for a three-yard loss at the UT 33-yard line.

That sack forced a missed field goal, and the Vols got a touchdown on the next drive. Although that was Young’s only sack, he forced bad throws all night thanks to the pressure he got. Tennessee football has a great pass rush combo with Young and Baron when both are healthy.

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