Keeping Score

Six Plays that Turned the Tide Against Tennessee

These remarkable individual efforts sparked Alabama to big victories in the big game
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Photo courtesy of University of Alabama.
In the 1947 Tennessee game, Harry Gilmer used the jump pass as a decoy.

Memories are long in Alabama, so if you are lucky enough to make a big play, a play of true significance, for the Crimson Tide, you can be certain that somewhere in the distant future, some proud Bama fan will still be reliving it.

But make a huge play against Tennessee?

A play that makes the difference in a victory against the hated Volunteers?

Every Bama fan in every far flung zip code will forever venerate your name, and rightly so.

Because it’s Tennessee.

So join us as we examine Six Plays that Turned the Tide Against Tennessee…


Harry Gilmer’s fake
Oct. 18, 1947
By the time Harry Gilmer took the field against Tennessee at Birmingham’s Legion Field in 1947, his masterful jump passing was known far and wide. In the third quarter of a scoreless game, Gilmer drove the Crimson Tide to the Tennessee 10, where the Vols’ defense stiffened. Facing fourth-and-goal, Alabama head coach Red Drew refused to kick a field goal and instead conspired to exploit Gilmer’s glowing reputation. Taking the snap, Gilmer faked a jump pass, which caused just enough hesitation in the UT defense, and then adroitly tucked the ball under his arm and darted in for the score. Alabama won, 10-0.
Steve Davis’ kick
Oct. 15, 1966
Down 10-0 at the half in a driving rainstorm at Neyland Stadium, Alabama rallied for a remarkable 11-10 victory, keeping the Crimson Tide in the hunt for a third consecutive national championship. The game turned on the most important kick of Steve Davis’ career. With 3:23 remaining, Tennessee led by two, and a Bama drive stalled in the red zone, which brought Davis in to attempt a go-ahead field goal. The snap by center Jimmy Carroll was wobbly and it took all of holder Kenny Stabler’s significant athletic skills to catch the ball and shovel it on the tee. Davis’ 17-yarder didn’t just beat Tennessee; it saved Alabama’s perfect season.

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