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Crimson Tide Beats Tennessee as Namath Shines

Oct. 19, 1963 - Joe Namath threw three touchdown passes today to steer Alabama to a 35-0 victory over Tennessee at Legion Field in Birmingham. Namath, plagued by fumbles and unable hit his receivers against Florida last week in the Tide’s only loss of the season, passed short and long with ease in the 46th renewal of one of the SEC’s oldest series. En route to Alabama’s fourth victory of the season, Namath completed 11 passes in 18 attempts for 141 yards. Benny Nelson opened the scoring with a 36-yard run late in the first quarter. Other scores came on Namath’s 26-yard pass to Jimmy Dill in the same period, a 3-yard toss to Charlie Stephens, and a 6-yard pass to Hudson Harris. Namath scored the last one himself on a 1-yard plunge in the third quarter. Three touchdowns were set up by Tennessee fumbles that were recovered by the Crimson Tide. Tennessee coach Jim McDonald shook his head after the shellacking administered the Volunteers by a rebounding Alabama. “You can’t fumble the way we did against a good football team, giving up the ball six times, most of them in our own territory.” Alabama Coach Paul (Bear) Bryant, happy to be back in the win column, distributed praise for Namath, fullback Eddie Versprille, and coach Howard Schellenberger, who scouted Tennessee: “Namath was as sharp as I’ve ever seen him. He was throwing well and running his plays well. He threw a couple of bad passes, but he threw a couple more that should have been caught.”


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