Alabama Football: Five Bold Predictions for Tide vs. Vols

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Football
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Football Bold Prediction No. 1

The Crimson Tide offense produced 574 yards against the Vols last season in a 52-24 win. This season, against a pretty good Tennessee rushing defense, the Tide offense will produce over 500 yards again. Even without last season’s offensive play-makers, a much improved Crimson Tide offensive line will keep the yardage output high.

Bold Prediction No. 2

Tennessee quarterback, Hendon Hooker is completing 70% of his passes this season. The Vols have been good at making explosive plays, leading to Hooker only averaging 28 passes a game. He will need to throw more against the Crimson Tide defense. My guess is close to 40 passing attempts by Hooker. Alabama is going to harass the Tennessee QB, with sacks, knockdowns, hurries and forced scramble runs on more than 10 of those attempted passing plays. Hooker will make some big plays, but not enough for a Vols win.

Bold Prediction No. 3

Some background is needed for this prediction. In five games the Vols have punted just 11 times. Offensive success against weak (and weaker) defenses is the main reason. Only one of the 11 punts has been returned, for 30 yards. That return average is last in the SEC but is meaningless due to sample size.

Kool-Aid McKinstry is averaging 17.7 yards per punt return, third best in the FBS. The Crimson Tide sophomore has not made a punt return touchdown. He will get at least one against the Vols.