Pasquali’s Pix: Tide to bounce back; Mocs to top Bears

Tennessee Athletics photo by Emma Ramsey / Tennessee football fans take down the goal posts at Neyland Stadium following last Saturday’s 52-49 win over Alabama.
Tennessee Athletics photo by Emma Ramsey / Tennessee football fans take down the goal posts at Neyland Stadium following last Saturday’s 52-49 win over Alabama.

It's equal parts flattery and fear.

Alabama has lost just six road games within the last decade, falling three times at Auburn and once at Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Tennessee. In each of those cases, jubilant fans stormed the field to celebrate the conquering of Nick Saban's imposing Crimson Tide.

Saban displayed a sizeable bruise on his left forearm last October that occurred in the chaos following the loss to Texas A&M, but he said Wednesday that he was unscathed while leaving the field after Saturday's 52-49 loss to Tennessee inside a crazed Neyland Stadium.

"Yeah, I did," Saban said of his clean exit amid the chaos. "It was a pretty difficult situation. I actually had about three bruises (last year), but I didn't have any after this one."

The aftermath of Saturday's thriller received national attention again Wednesday, when a video surfaced of Tide receiver Jermaine Burton appearing to hit a female Tennessee fan. The fan, Emily Isaacs, revealed the video on her TikTok account with the message, "Jermaine Burton smacking me in the head while walking past him after their loss Saturday."

Her message included a thumbs-up emoji and an "ouch" hashtag.

After Wednesday's practice, Saban said discipline is handled internally and "that's the way we'll handle this." The Southeastern Conference fined Tennessee $100,000 for violating the league's policy of entering the field of competition, and Saban was asked Wednesday if there was anything he would change regarding such incidents.

"I think it's a difficult situation," he said. "I think it's a difficult situation for the league. It's a difficult situation for all of us that are in this situation. We certainly don't condone any mistreatment of anybody whether they should or shouldn't be there.

"I think you have to have respect for other people, but at the same time, it's a difficult situation for all of us."

When asked about Neyland's environment, Saban said, "There was certainly a lot of passion in that game."


Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin was on his Twitter game early Saturday evening, posting "Make it this time" before Chase McGrath's 40-yard field goal as time expired catapulted the Volunteers to victory.

Kiffin was referencing his one chance at Alabama as Tennessee's coach in 2009, when Daniel Lincoln had a 44-yard attempt blocked to preserve a 12-10 Tide win.

"Obviously it was an exciting game regardless of what side you were on or if you were just watching to watch," Kiffin said Wednesday. "It was a classic football game where it could go either way -- one kick doesn't go in and one goes in and the whole world is changed."

Asked how he typically watches other games when he has the opportunity, Kiffin said: "I'm just a normal person. I'm clicking back between games with my son and his friends. We're eating pizza and on the couch. Watching that game was pretty exciting."


October has been quite the cram session for LSU first-year coach Brian Kelly as he gets to experience rivalry games. Kelly's Tigers have won at Auburn and at Florida, and this weekend they will try to prevail at Ole Miss.

"We mention the history of all our rivalry games, the Magnolia Bowl history and what it has meant to our university," Kelly said. "It's new for me, too, and I like to look it up and learn a little bit more about each and every game. We discussed it on Monday, because there is a traveling trophy."

November will hold LSU's rivalry games against Alabama and Texas A&M.


South Carolina and Texas A&M are meeting Saturday for a ninth consecutive year as permanent cross-divisional rivals.

The Gamecocks are still seeking their first win.

"I've mentioned it to the team. They know, and I was sure it was going to get brought up at some point," South Carolina second-year coach Shane Beamer said. "I mentioned it to the team Tuesday morning and also made them aware that it has zero to do with the 2022 Texas A&M team and the 2022 South Carolina team.

"Close to half the guys we'll have starting Saturday night have never played Texas A&M, because they're either freshmen or transfers. Credit Texas A&M for being better than South Carolina over the years, and it's certainly a big challenge for us to change that."

Pasquali's Pix

Virginia at Georgia Tech: It's a Thursday night treat with the nation's 122nd and 124th scoring offenses. Yellow Jackets 20, Cavaliers 16.

UT Martin at Tennessee: Can't wait to see the goal posts come down again Saturday! Volunteers 63, Skyhawks 0.

Mercer at UTC: Mocs senior running back Ailym Ford has averaged 104.8 yards per game for his entire career. Mocs 31, Bears 24.

Syracuse at Clemson: This is the first matchup of teams with 6-0 records or better in Memorial Stadium's 81-year history. Tigers 30, Orange 21.

Ole Miss at LSU: Kiffin's Rebels are seeking their first 8-0 start in 60 years. Rebels 27, Tigers 24.

Vanderbilt at Missouri: Using comparative scores can be risky, but one of these teams sure played Georgia a lot closer than the other one. Tigers 38, Commodores 17.

Mississippi State at Alabama: This is the second straight season in which the Bulldogs have the misfortune of facing an angry Alabama. Crimson Tide 41, Bulldogs 10.

Texas A&M at South Carolina: Beamer seems to be having more fun than Jimbo Fisher this season. Aggies 24, Gamecocks 19.

Other picks:

Ohio State 42, Iowa 9

Miami 39, Duke 28

Notre Dame 45, UNLV 16

Oklahoma State 30, Texas 27

Oregon 44, UCLA 35

Wake Forest 36, Boston College 13

Tulane 28, Memphis 21

Penn State 31, Minnesota 24

TCU 33, Kansas State 30

Louisville 27, Pittsburgh 22

Cincinnati 24, SMU 17

Baylor 38, Kansas 25

Texas Tech 41, West Virginia 38

Washington 40, California 23

Stanford 17, Arizona State 14

Oregon State 35, Colorado 12

Last week:

Winners — 18

Goal post donors — 7

Pasquali is 145-30 overall (82.9%) this season.

Contact David Paschall at

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