TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Aaron Medley isn't the first Tennessee kicker to have a rough afternoon at Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium, but the sophomore became the latest Saturday afternoon.
Medley missed three field-goal attempts — two of them would have been career-long 51-yarders — as the Volunteers fell 19-14 against the eighth-ranked Crimson Tide.
"First of all, I love Aaron Medley, and we believe in Aaron Medley, and Aaron Medley's our kicker," coach Butch Jones said. "Those are difficult kicks as well. He'll be fine. Obviously he hurts because he's a competitor and he's a great team player. It's like I told the team, we win together, we lose together. That's part of being a family.
"Those were very, very difficult kicks, but there's no other kicker I want than Aaron Medley."
Medley, who made 20 of 26 field-goal tries as a freshman in 2014, is now 9-of-17 this season, but he's made just one kick of 40 or more yards on seven tries this season.
All three of Saturday's misses were beyond that mark.
His 43-yarder on Tennessee's first drive sailed wide right, and the two 51-yarders were wide left, though distance wasn't the issue on either miss.
"He's got to keep his head up," safety Brian Randolph said. "We win together, we lose together. We just lost the game. You can't put any blame on him. We're one team, so no one's pointing the finger."
The third miss came with Tennessee down 10-7 less than a minute into the fourth quarter, and Jones said he considered going for the fourth-and-10 from Alabama's 33.
"He makes those kicks," Jones explained. "That's in his range. He's done it consistently in practice. At that stage in the game in where we were at, I thought our defense was playing well, that we could stop them, and I had confidence he was going to make the kick."
Medley's career-long of 46 yards was at Georgia last season.
"It's just one of those days for him," wide receiver Josh Smith said. "We've got to love on him. You can't just obliterate him (by) yelling at him. He's got to go out and execute and just do your job like we do. He'll get it right."
With Jashon Robertson (ankle) and Brett Kendrick (elbow) out, Tennessee started freshmen Jack Jones and Chance Hall at right guard and right tackle after both merited the starting nods with their play against Georgia.
"You're asking two true freshmen to come in and play a top-10 opponent with juniors and seniors, and I believe probably their entire (Alabama) front will play in the National Football League," Coach Jones said. "That's kind of a very difficult situation to be in, but those two youngsters are very determined and they work hard every day."
Said running back Alvin Kamara: "They're going to be good players."
Fifth-year senior Kyler Kerbyson said Hall took allowing the game-sealing sack-fumble pretty hard. Alabama's Ryan Anderson beat him around the edge to hit quarterback Josh Dobbs and force a fumble that A'Shawn Robinson scooped up.
"I definitely think those guys are probably really hurt right now, especially Chance," Kerbyson said. "I know he feels bad for the team. He feels like he let everyone down, but it's not like that. It's a team loss. It's not an individual loss. We really have to get behind him and let him know that we all support him and it's not his fault by any means."
Kamara honors Tenpenny
Kamara, who spent his freshman season at Alabama, wrote the number 28 on his towel to honor Altee Tenpenny, his former running back teammate with the Crimson Tide who was killed in a car accident in Mississippi on Tuesday night.
He didn't speak with any of his fellow 2013 signees before the game, but he said he did after the final whistle.
"Those guys all kind of came up to me and said we were all playing for Altee and Altee was with us all," Kamara said. "Win or lose, I know Altee was looking out for me."
Freshman wide receiver Preston Williams did not make the trip after suffering a hamstring injury Tuesday, but Marquez North (back) returned after a two-game absence and had one catch for 8 yards.
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