(Game Stats: )
According to multiple Alabama officials the dog bit an Alabama player hard enough to draw blood. Alabama fullback Tim Castille and a member of the Alabama training staff said freshman receiver Mike McCoy was the victim of the dog bite.
One half of the second best receiving tandem in the nation did not play Saturday night. Keith Brown had started all seven games of 2006 and 10 of 11 games last season, but strained his left knee against Ole Miss last week. In his stead, sophomore Will Oakley earned his second career start, finishing with four catches for 28 yards. After the game, coaches said they had a feeling Brown would not be able to play on Wednesday of this week, and had practiced without him all week.
Brown was one of three injured players questionable for the game. The other two, Jimmy Johns and DJ Hall, both played in the game. Brown strained his knee against Ole Miss last week.
Tim Castille's third quarter touchdown was the first touchdown scored in the series in 140 minutes and 42 seconds, according to press box mathematicians. Castille plunged in a two-yard touchdown run with 58 second remaining in the third quarter. The previous touchdown in the series came two years earlier in Knoxville when Tennessee's Jason Swain scored with 6:40 in the second quarter.
Castille has scored Alabama's last two touchdowns in the series (in 2006 and in 2004), and, and three of the team's last four touchdowns against UT, dating back to the 2003 game Alabama lost in five overtimes.
Alabama's defense started in a four-man front for the second week in a row, with tackle Dominic Lee earning his fourth start of the year. Safety Rashad Johnson started for only the second time in his career. His previous start was in the season opener against Hawaii when Alabama opened the game with five defensive backs.
Sackless and Hapless
Wallace Gilberry was shut out in the sack category for the seventh straight game Saturday night. Alabama's sack leader back in 2003 hasn't sacked the quarterback since the Cotton Bowl last season, a fact which troubled the senior after the game.
"I feel like I let the team down," Gilberry said. "It was a defensive game against a passing team, and I had zero sacks. I haven't had a sack all season, and I feel like for us to win games that's what I need to do. I'm not doing my job."
"Number 2, that team was not better than us," he said. "nor form or fashion, no way possible, but they got the job done. If they were better than us and we had lost by 30, it still would have hurt but not so bad. We lost by three, and it was a heartbreaker."
Saturday was the first time this season John Parker Wilson had been held under 200 yards passing, and the first time he completed less than half his passes in the game. The sophomore was 13 of 29 (.448 PCT) for 158 yards. Wilson's previous low yardage total of the season came against Ole Miss (206 yards) and the lowest completion percentages came against Florida (.525 PCT).
"We had our chances and didn't execute," Wilson said. "Our effort's great, the execution is missing. They pretty much did the same thing the whole night. They went to a little prevent defense at the end but that's expected. I've got to tip my hat to them. We didn't make plays when we had to and they did. That pretty much sums it up."