Alabama vs. Tennessee prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the rivalry matchup between the Crimson Tide and Volunteers on Saturday afternoon in Knoxville.
Alabama vs. Tennessee Game Preview
When: Saturday, October 15 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN
TV Broadcast: CBS
Alabama pulled out to a 35-10 lead against Arkansas in Fayetteville and never looked back, winning 49-30 to run its record to 6-0. Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw only 17 times, but completed 13 of them for 253 yards and two touchdowns while running back Damien Harris rushed for 122 yards on 13 carries.
The Tennessee magic seemed to have struck again as the Volunteers came back from 21-point deficit to take Texas A&M into overtime, but the clock struck midnight in double OT and Tennessee suffered its first defeat of the season, 45-38, in College Station. The Volunteers were shredded on the ground for 353 rushing yards.
What To Know About Alabama
Just keep on trusting the process. The Crimson Tide are going to get everyone’s best shot, but the mix of experience, coaching, and overall talent makes them extremely difficult to beat. Hurts has been everything and more as a true freshman under center, and Harris has come into his own as the main guy in the backfield at running back. Add in the deep wide receiving corps and this offense is as explosive as any in the nation.
Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick is a star, and he showed why against the Razorbacks, intercepting three passes and taking one back for a touchdown. Running the ball against the Alabama defense is a struggle as well, with linebacker Reuben Foster leading the way.
What to Know About Tennessee
The Volunteers offense seemed to think the football was a hot potato during the first half this past Saturday, as numerous fumbles led to a big deficit. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs and running back Alvin Kamara did all they could to get Tennessee back into the game, but they won’t be able to afford to do that against Alabama. A healthy Jalen Hurd returning at running back could be a great benefit for the Vols.
Much like the offense, the defense finally showed up in the second half for the Volunteers, but allowing 353 yards on the ground is unacceptable. Sure, Aggies quarterback Trevor Knight can run the ball, but he isn’t as explosive as Hurts, who along with the stable of running backs Alabama has available, could exploit the run defense for big yards.
Offense: Alabama. They can run the ball, pass the ball, and do both of those extremely well.
Defense: Alabama. The Tide are 11th in the nation allowing only 15.8 points per game.
Special Teams: Tie. Both kickers are good, and both have kick returners who can take it to the house.
Coaching: Alabama. Who do you trust more to win a huge game like this? I thought so.
Intangibles: Tennessee. Coming off an emotional loss and with the home crowd at their back, the Volunteers will be fired up.
Matchup To Watch
Alabama offensive line vs. Tennessee defensive line
The Volunteers have been pushed around at times in the trenches, and this will be its biggest test against a Crimson Tide offensive line that can dominate.
Spread: Alabama: -12
Alabama vs. Tennessee Prediction
Tennessee has had this game circled on its calendar since the schedules came out, with the goal being to prove that the Vols belong in the conversation as one of the best in the SEC. After the loss to Texas A&M, the Volunteers will be even more determined to get back on the winning side of things. Dobbs and company will keep it close, but ultimately, the talent of Alabama wins it in the end, as the Tide keep rolling and the Volunteers shot at an SEC Championship takes a major hit for a second consecutive week.
Alabama vs. Tennessee Score Prediction: Alabama 35, Tennessee 27