Alabama vs.Tennessee

  Date: 10/24/2009  
  Score: 12-10  
  Alabama vs. Tennessee

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Terrence Cody, the Crimson Tide’s 350-pound nose guard, blocked a 44-yard field-goal attempt on the final play -- his second block of the fourth quarter -- and Alabama escaped with a 12-10 victory over rival Tennessee at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) was about to lose its perfect record before Cody broke through the line on the last play to block Daniel Lincoln’s low kick. Cody left the field to the sound of Alabama fans chanting "Cody!" in tribute.

Leigh Tiffin booted four field goals -- including a 50-yarder and a 49-yarder -- to provide all Alabama’s points and the Crimson Tide survived Mark Ingram’s first college fumble and some problems for the nation’s top defense.

Tennessee (3-4, 1-3) kept hopes for head coach Lane Kiffin’s first major victory with Eric Berry’s fumble recovery and quarterback Jonathan Crompton’s 11-yard touchdown pass to receiver Gerald Jones with 1:19 left. Then Tennessee’s Denarius Moore recovered the ensuing onside kick at the Tennessee 41-yard line with no time outs remaining.

Crompton hit Jones on a 14-yarder before Tennessee was pushed back by a false start. On second down, Crompton hit tight end Luke Stocker for a 23-yard gain to get the Vols into position for the potential game-winning kick.

But Cody and the Crimson Tide defensive line made a big push to enable Alabama to remain in control of its destiny in the national title race.

Tiffin’s 49-yarder with 6:31 left had barely cleared the uprights for a 12-3 lead and the decisive points. That came after Cody blocked Lincoln’s 43-yard field goal attempt with his left hand.

Tennessee would get new life when Ingram lost the first fumble of his career in 322 touches, giving the Volunteers the ball back at the Alabama 43. All-American safety Eric Berry jarred the ball loose as Ingram was going down, and then recovered it.

Crompton overcame a sack on the first play and completed 4-of-4 passes for 42 yards and the touchdown to make it 12-10, the first touchdown allowed by Alabama in almost 12 quarters of action. Alabama was held without an offensive touchdown for the first time since the Mississippi State game in 2007.

Tennessee outgained Alabama, 341-256, and Crompton was 21 of 36 passing for 265 yards with one interception. Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy was 18 of 29 for 120 yards. Ingram, who emerged as a Heisman Trophy contender the past two weeks, gained 99 yards on 18 carries and surpassed 1,000 yards on the season.

After Cody’s first block, McElroy passed for a first down and ran for another to move the Tide in position for Tiffin’s field goal that made it a two-score game. After a roughing the punter on Tennessee, Alabama was in position to milk the clock and secure the victory. But the normally sure-handed Ingram gave the Vols another shot. Tennessee got close, but Mount Cody was ultimately too big to kick over.