Alabama vs Tennesseee: Looking Ahead


Alabama vs Tennessee. The Third Saturday in October. Well, it’s really the fourth but the excitement will be with the Vols fans as they prepare to welcome current Alabama offensive coordinator and former Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin back to Neyland Stadium.

I can see it now. The lights will go dim except for a single spot light on the visitor’s tunnel. A chariot pulled by white horses will make it’s away around the stadium. Fans will then notice that sitting on the crimson covered seat will be none other than Kiffin. The chariot will bring him to mid-field where he will greet his fans that are present. As Kiffin waves to all in attendance, this song will start to play over the loudspeaker. Close your eyes and you can see it in your mind.

Ok. This probably won’t happen but a Tide fan can dream, right? Let’s talk about the game a bit to get Tennessee week going.

This past Saturday the Tide was clicking on all cylinders in all phases of the game in the 59-0 shellacking of the Aggies from Texas A&M. They racked up 602 yards of balanced offense. It was almost evenly split between rushing and passing. No penalties, no turnovers, and they even got an interception. It would certainly have a team reacting this way.

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There is no doubt that everyone should be happy but always keep that cautious feeling in the back of your mind. The Tide seems to have trouble with the offense on the road but Saban believes the team saw a turning point late in the Arkansas game. Alabama averages 610 yards of offense at home but that number drops to 387 on the road. I think it’s communication causing the problem. If that problem is solved, Alabama will be a tough game for opponents from here on out. Neyland certainly won’t be quiet this Saturday.

There’s no doubt the Aggies have some issues going on but the Tide defense held the Aggies to only 31 yards rushing and 172 total for the game. You got to remember as well that a lot of the second half was played with players off of the bench to get them some experience.

Tennessee has some major issues on the offensive line and in turn, it’s causing them problems in getting anything going on that side of the ball. Ole Miss held them to zero rushing yards this past Saturday on 15 carries. The Tide is built to stop the run so that plays into Alabama’s strength.

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Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley also fell on his right shoulder during the game and had to come out in the fourth quarter. GoVols247 reports that he was just “banged up a bit”. Worley said that he didn’t think the injury would mean anything major going forward and that he would start preparing for the Tide.

What Tennessee lacks on offense, they are statistically better on defense. They rank just above the middle of the pack on total defense. Looking at the rankings, the Tide will probably have better success at running the ball on Saturday. The Vols rank ninth in the SEC defending the run, allowing 166 yards per game. Through the air will be a tougher route as they rank near the top, only allowing 173 yards per game.

I still feel pretty confident in seeing the Tide come out of Knoxville with a win. Tennessee just has too many issues on offense with the Tide coming in with a stout defense that appears to be fired up to finish out the season. As of now, I’m seeing a score similar to the Ole Miss and Tennessee game. I’ll go with 31-7 today. You also have to remember that the Tide is only a 15-point favorite, give or take a few and depending on where you look.

With me living in Tennessee, all I know is that one of my favorite games of the year is only a few days away.