KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Amari Cooper caught two of A.J. McCarron’s four touchdown passes Saturday as
No. 1 Alabama defeated Tennessee 44-13 for its sixth consecutive victory over the Volunteers.
Cooper finished with seven receptions for 162 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 42-yard score in the third. Cooper also had a 30-yard touchdown nullified by a penalty.
McCarron went 17 of 22 for a career-high 306 yards for Alabama (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference). T.J. Yeldon rushed for 129 yards and two scores.
Tennessee (3-4, 0-4) has lost 11 of its past 12 SEC games and is 0-14 against the Top 25 since Derek Dooley took over the program in 2010.
Dooley returned to the sideline Saturday on crutches, less than two weeks after undergoing surgery on a fractured right hip.
He had coached from the press box last week in a 41-31 loss at Mississippi State.
NO. 15 MISSISSIPPI STATE 45, MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE 3
In Starkville, Miss., Tyler Russell threw for 191 yards and three touchdowns, Johnthan Banks tied a school record with his 16th career interception and Mississippi State pulled away in the second half to beat Middle Tennessee.
Mississippi State (7-0) led just 10-3 at halftime, but scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to open a comfortable lead in the nonconference game. It was the ninth consecutive win for the Bulldogs, dating to last season.
LaDarius Perkins shook Mississippi State’s offense out of an extended drought midway through the third quarter, bursting through the middle of the line for a 64-yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs ahead 17-3. He finished with 125 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Mississippi State’s Chris Smith caught a career-high seven passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
Middle Tennessee (4-3) was led by Jordan Parker’s 66 yards rushing.
VANDERBILT 17, AUBURN 13
In Nashville, Tenn., Zac Stacy ran for 169 yards and a touchdown and Vanderbilt beat Auburn.
The Commodores (3-4, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) overcame a fourth-quarter fumble by Stacy, who became the school’s all-time rushing leader. Clint Moseley overshot an open Sammie Coates on fourth-and-13 with 52 seconds left as Auburn (1-6, 0-5) dropped its fourth in a row.
Stacy, a senior who also owns Vanderbilt’s single-season rushing record, carried the ball 27 times. He now has 2,670 career rushing yards. His 27-yard run in the fourth quarter broke Frank Mordica’s previous mark of 2,632 yards from 1976-79.
Auburn, just two years after winning the national championship, is off to its worst start since losing six of its first seven in 1952 in Shug Jordan’s second year as coach.