There's never any love lost on the Third Saturday in October, otherwise known as the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry. And on one play during their game on Saturday that was especially true, as a Tennessee player punched an Alabama player in the head.
Tennessee led Alabama at halftime 20-7, and it was not looking good for the Crimson Tide. Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe struggled, getting sacked multiple times and throwing an interception in the end zone. Alabama scored a touchdown on their first drive of the second half to only be down 20-14, and they forced a three-and-out from Tennessee.
Alabama was driving and had the ball at the Tennessee 30-yard line and ran the ball on first and 10 with running back Roydell Williams. It was only a one-yard gain, but the Tennessee defender did something you don't typically see during a football game. Two Tennessee defenders stopped Williams, and he was down, but then a third Tennessee defender came in and punched Williams in the head.
The defender was Elijah Herring, a sophomore linebacker trying to punch the ball out but missed and hit Williams in the head, as shown in the video below.
You can't just dive in late and throw a forearm into a guy's head, can you? pic.twitter.com/uvV72la1pL
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) October 21, 2023
There was no flag thrown on the play, even though there was a punch thrown, and the Alabama fans let the referees hear their disdain for the no-call. Alabama would hit a 42-yard field goal from Will Reichard to be down 20-17. They would force another punt by Tennessee and get the ball back. Alabama running back Jase McClellan would score a five-yard touchdown run to give Alabama its first lead of the game, 24-20 and score 17 unanswered points. Alabama scored again on a Will Reichard 50-yard field goal to take a 27-20 lead with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. Tennessee has punted three consecutive times in the second half and only has 49 yards of total offense.
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