The defining moment up 31 on Tennessee that Alabama thought back to Tampa

The atmosphere didn’t necessarily match the scoreboard early Saturday evening in Tuscaloosa. Bryant-Denny Stadium is typically a little sparser when the home team holds a 31-point edge.

Yet it was almost full in the final stages of a 45-7 clinic for traditional foe Tennessee. And the sell-out crowd was as loud as it’s been all season for a defensive moment that had nothing to do with the outcome.

And it meant a little more than the defensive shutout or even the 100th installment of this bitter rivalry.

Several Alabama opponents said the late goal-line stand of the Vols brought back memories of Jan. 9, Tampa, Fla. The championship that wasn’t.

“We basically went back to Clemson,” linebacker Rashaan Evans said. “We just wanted to stop them on the goal line.”

This time, they did.

The four-down stand kept the Vol offense out of the end zone for a third straight game, effectively putting a bow on Alabama’s lockdown afternoon.

It sent the almost packed stadium into a frenzy celebrating Mack Wilson’s fourth-down interception on the Vols final shot at the end zone.

The conclusion was especially cruel for the long-suffering Tennessee offense. A touchdown was the original ruling on John Kelly’s second-down run. Video replay overturned it, but the ball was still inside the 1-yard line. Well, a false-start flag pushed it back to the six.

It was particularly

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