Alabama vs Tennessee ::No. 1 Alabama heads Knoxville looking to extend an 11-game win streak against SEC rival Tennessee on Saturday.
Alabama (7–0) is coming off of yet another dominant performance with a 39–10 win against Missouri last week. Heisman candidate Tua Tagovailoa went 12-of-22 for 265 yards and three touchdowns before leaving the game in the third quarter with a knee injury. Tagovailoa was a full participant in practice this week and expects to play on Saturday. The Crimson Tide defense, which was criticized for giving up 31 points to Arkansas two weeks ago, sacked Missouri quarterback Drew Lock three times in the win and intercepted him twice.
Tennessee (3–3) defeated Auburn 30-24 last week behind quarterback Jarrett Guarantano’s 328 yards and two touchdown passes. Senior defensive end Kyle Phillips had his best game of the season, racking up nine tackles and forcing a fumble in the outing. Cornerbacks Alontae Taylor and Bryce Thomspon recorded 12 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception together.
Alabama vs Tennessee How to watch live
Date: Saturday, Oct. 20
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: CBS
It looks like Butch Jones may get to smoke that cigar after all.
The former Tennessee coach will be wearing Crimson on the sidelines for No. 1-ranked Alabama and coach Nick Saban when the Volunteers and former Alabama defensive coach Jeremy Pruitt hosts the Tide.
All eyes will be on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after the sophomore re-aggravated a knee injury last week against Missouri.
Alabama’s last obstacle before a Western Division showdown with No. 5 LSU is a longtime Southeastern Conference rival it has treated as little more than a speed bump for over a decade.
Yet the top-ranked Crimson Tide say they’re taking nothing for granted heading into Saturday’s matchup at Neyland Stadium. They have too much understanding of this rivalry and too much respect for the familiar face who has taken over Tennessee’s program.
“To me, it’s a big game,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “It doesn’t matter what happened last year or 10 years ago. What’s going to happen this week is the most important thing and how our players look at that and respond to the challenges with a confident team now. They just had a big win.”
The game will be televised on CBS. You can live stream the game at CBS Video.
Alabama, which is seeking its sixth national title in the last 10 years, has next week off before visiting LSU on Nov. 3.
Tennessee (3-3, 1-2 SEC) is a coming off a 30-24 victory at Auburn that knocked the Tigers out of the Top 25. The road triumph marked Tennessee’s first signature win under new coach Jeremy Pruitt, who spent the last two seasons as Alabama’s defensive coordinator.
Alabama, a 28 1/2-point favorite, has beaten Tennessee each of the last 11 years by an average margin of 24.5 points. The only close calls during the streak came when Terrence Cody blocked a field goal as time expired to preserve a 12-10 triumph in 2009 and when Derrick Henry’s go-ahead touchdown with 2:24 left gave the Tide a 19-14 victory in 2015.
“We’ve got to do our part to create this rivalry again,” Pruitt said. “It’s not been much of a rivalry the last few years.”
Even though Alabama and Tennessee’s players were in elementary school the last time the Vols beat the Tide, both teams realize this annual matchup still means plenty to both fan bases.
“This is probably my favorite Tennessee rivalry,” Tennessee offensive tackle Trey Smith said. “When I was growing up, I was a big Alabama fan, there’s no hiding that. My room back home is crimson. I’ve watched them growing up all my life. I always told myself growing up I would be in this rivalry game, either wearing crimson or orange. I made my decision, wearing orange. This rivalry means a lot to me