Vols Looking to End Rivalry Losing Streak to Alabama
Tennessee (4-3, 2-2 SEC) at No. 5 Alabama (6-1, 3-1), Saturday at 7 p.m. EDT (ESPN).
Line: Alabama by 24 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Alabama leads 58-37-8 (57-38-7 after NCAA sanctions), has won 14 straight.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Tennessee is trying to snatch back its momentum after a close loss to No. 12 Mississippi and snap a long losing streak to its traditional rival. The Crimson Tide rolled over Mississippi State in a bounce-back game after their first loss. Alabama wants to prove it can get back to consistently dominating opponents. Josh Heupel is facing Alabama for the first time as a head coach.
Alabama’s aggressive defense against Tennessee’s fast-paced offense. The Tide handled that tempo well against Ole Miss. The Volunteers are tied with Ole Miss atop the nation, running 2.9 plays per minute for an average of 75.7 offensive snaps. Alabama had seven sacks last week against the Bulldogs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tennessee: QB Hendon Hooker is day to day with a right leg injury. The graduate transfer from Virginia Tech ranks fifth nationally in passer rating and second in the SEC behind Alabama’s Bryce Young. Joe Milton would be in line to start if Hooker can’t go.
Alabama: LB Will Anderson Jr., one of college football’s top pass rushers, was never more disruptive than last week with four sacks against Mississippi State. The preseason All-American leads the nation with 15 tackles for loss and has seven sacks.
FACTS & FIGURES
Alabama has won 32 consecutive games against SEC East teams. … Tennessee is seeking its first win over the Tide since a 16-13 home victory on Oct. 21, 2006. The Volunteers haven’t beaten a ranked Alabama team since winning 21-7 in 1999. … Tennessee and Alabama have played only three night games in Tuscaloosa since 1999, and this will be the second straight in this series. … Tennessee DB Brandon Turnage played at Alabama in 2019 and 2020 before transferring in July. Alabama LB Henry To’o To’o played with Tennessee in 2019 and 2020 before transferring. … Tennessee has scored 275 points, the program’s most through seven games since 1915.