TUSCALOOSA, Ala. —Alabama's Mount Cody proved too big for Tennessee to kick over.
Terrence Cody, the Crimson Tide's 350-pound nose guard, blocked a 44-yard field-goal attempt on the final play, and No. 1 Alabama escaped with a 12-10 victory over the rival Volunteers on Saturday.
Cody broke through the line on the last play and practically ran into Daniel Lincoln's low kick. Relieved Alabama fans chanted "Cody" as the All-American ambled toward the locker room. It was Cody's second blocked field goal of the fourth quarter.
Leigh Tiffin booted four field goals — including a 50-yarder and a 49-yarder — to provide all Alabama's offense; and the Tide (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) survived Mark Ingram's first college fumble and some problems for the nation's top defense.
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Tennessee (3-4, 1-3) kept alive its hopes for coach Lane Kiffin's first huge victory with Eric Berry's fumble recovery and Jonathan Crompton's 11-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Jones with 1:19 left. Then Tennessee's Denarius Moore recovered the onside kick at the Vols' 41 with no time outs remaining.
Crompton hit Jones on a 14-yarder before Tennessee was pushed back by a false start. On second down, the much-maligned Crompton hit Luke Stocker for a 23-yard gain to get the Vols into position for the potential game-winning kick.
But Cody and the Tide made a big push, and Alabama still controls its destiny in the national title race.
Tiffin's 49-yarder with 6:31 left had barely cleared the uprights for the 12-3 lead and, it turns out, the decisive points. That came after Cody batted Lincoln's 43-yard field goal attempt with his left hand.
Tennessee would get new life when Ingram lost the first fumble of his career, giving the Vols the ball back at the Bama 43. All-American safety Eric Berry jarred the ball loose as Ingram was going down, and then recovered it.
That appeared to secure the win, but the normally sure-handed Ingram gave the Vols another shot.