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Tennessee defeats Alabama 52-49, ends 16-year drought against Crimson Tide

The game of the year in college football. Incredible.

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

They did it. The Vols actually did it.

No. 6 Tennessee took down No. 3 Alabama 52-49 on Saturday in an instant classic. Volunteer kicker Chase McGrath booted the game-winning kick as time expired to give the Vols their first win over Alabama since 2006. After a decade and half of misery, UT has finally defeated a Nick Saban Alabama team.

This game was defined by an epic quarterback battle between a pair of Heisman Trophy candidates in Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker and Alabama’s Bryce Young. Hooker led the Vols out to a 21-7 lead in the first quarter before the regining Heisman winner Young got the Crimson Tide right back into the ballgame. From there, the two offense traded blows throughout the evening as both teams kept upping the ante.

With the game tied 49-49 late in the fourth quarter, Young zipped Alabama down the field and seemingly had the Tide in a position to win on a game-winning field goal. However, kicker Will Reichard missed his 50-yard attempt to the right, leaving the game tied with 15 seconds left.

That proved more than enough time for Hooker, as he was able to complete two big passes to get the Volunteers into field goal range. That’s where McGrath came in and booted UT to the victory, exorcising a demon that has haunted the program for so long.