Insider Mailing: Bama Hate Week Edition

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    Lane Kiffin-1

    What combination of narcotics would I need to take to wake up and it be Kentucky week? – @FullButchPlease 

    Daniel: With all the Back to the Future talk this week, finding the Delorean might be your best bet.

    Houston: Man, that’s a cocktail that I am not willing to prescribe to anyone.

    John: I recommend watching game film of the Missouri offense on perpetual loop. That should do the trick.

    Reed: A heavy dose of Valium combined with booze should do the trick.

    How many #Vols still have their stripes? – @CyndiVolFan 

    Daniel: I’ll be honest and say I haven’t kept a running tally of that. Helmet stripes seem to be a really big deal in camp and then people lose interest a bit after that. I did notice that Kahlil McKenzie was finally practicing stripe-less on Tuesday, while Preston Williams still has his on. I’d estimate about 10 of the scholarship newcomers still have them.

    What’s the chance UT comes out and runs the Joey Kent play first play of the game and who does it go to? – @witness781 

    Daniel: I’m convinced Preston Williams has a “wow” play or two in him this year still. So if I had to guess, I’d say it would be to him, but I’d put a >1% chance of that happening exactly like that.

    Houston: I’d say zero. Tennessee will probably come out and try to run the football, or maybe run a rollout for Dobbs with a pass/run option. The seam play doesn’t appear to exist for wide receivers this year, only tight ends.

    John: Yeah, I’m with HK. Zero. But how sweet would it be if they snuck Kamara out in the slot and hit him on a little slant and he went HOUSE on his old team?

    Reed: Dobbs can make that throw – he’s accurate between the dashes, so I wouldn’t completely rule it out.  But I don’t see any WR on Tennessee’s team outrunning Alabama.

    If you cast Star Wars using college football coaches, who would you choose & what roles? Besides Saban as the Emperor, obviously. – @bo_knox 

    Houston: Man…I’ll give a few, but I am certainly no Star Wars expert.

    Kliff Kingsbury would play Han Solo for the cool-factor.
    Bret Bielema would be Chewbacca because he already is.
    Charlie Weis and Mark Mangino would fight to be Jabba the Hutt.
    Lou Holtz would play C-3PO.
    And Frank Beamer would play Admiral Ackbar.

    Bama’s O-Line has looked suspect so far this year. how do you think the Vols will fare in the matchup? – @Volcowboy

    Houston: I think Tennessee can clog the middle against the run, for the most part. The trick for them will be to stop the bounce-outs and wide runs – where they’ve been beaten all year. Henry takes a bit to get going, so getting to him before he can get a full head of steam will be very important. Kenyan Drake will come in as a change-of-pace back at times, and Tennessee will need to contain him in both the run and pass game.

    In passing situations, they have to find a way to pressure Jake Coker. If they can pressure him, he will turn the football over. He struggles when things aren’t perfect, so Derek Barnett and Corey Vereen need to have big games if Tennessee is to have any real shot at victory. I think the Vols can have a pretty good day defensively, but they’ll need to help the offense with some turnovers and the offense will need to capitalize.

    Daniel: I agree this doesn’t look like some of the Bama lines of a few years ago, but it is a unit that is still top five in the SEC in fewest number of sacks allowed and rushing, so I can’t say this will be any easy matchup for the Vols. One interesting storyline to watch is the health of Bama center Ryan Kelly – who hasn’t been able to hit much this week yet because he’s in concussion protocol. That could tilt the advantage to the Vols a bit. I expect Tennessee to get some pressure and to get a lot of stops on Henry. But can the Vols avoid the knockout punch that comes on that one or two plays where Henry gets the ball in space and just bulldozes through defenders? That’s more my concern for UT.

    Reed: If this group wasn’t ravaged by injuries, I would like it a ton more. I think the Vols will hold their own for three quarters but simply wear down late in the game. They’re not alone – most teams that play Alabama suffer the same fate.

    If you had to get a tattoo to commemorate a certain victory in Tennessee history, what would you get? – JBCVol

    Daniel: The Music City Miracle. You meant the state of Tennessee, right?

    Houston: This picture (in full color) with the final score of this game and “1998 National Champs.” Go big or go home.

    Deon Grant

    John: I’m scared of needles.

    Reed: I’m with Houston. I’ll never forget that play.

    If Tennessee beats Alabama this weekend, is the Tide’s dynasty under Saban finally over? – JBCVol

    Daniel: I guess it depends how dynasty is defined. If they lose to UT, they wouldn’t be going to the playoffs this year, so that’d be three years without a title, so I think it’d be fair to say that they’re no longer the preeminent team in college football at that point. But as long as Saban is there recruiting every five-star in sight and Alabama is still regularly in the top 10 and contending for the SEC title, it’s hard to count them out. They could easily bounce back and win a couple titles in the next five years or so, and then I think this extended period would be looked at as a dynasty.

    Houston: Man…Hard to say “over” for sure, but it would certainly take a huge hit. Alabama hasn’t lost two regular season games since 2010 when they lost three (South Carolina, LSU and Auburn). That means that, essentially, nobody on this Alabama roster has ever played a regular season game when their wasn’t a potential National Championship on the line in some way. If Tennessee were to win, is there any way that they could rebound to beat LSU? I wouldn’t think so, but perhaps. So, a Tennessee win could be the catalyst that destroys the dynasty…and that would be a sweet thing for Tennessee fans.

    Reed: Everyone keeps burying Alabama, but they’re not dead and won’t be even if they lose this weekend. It’s clear that they’re not the team they were a few years ago, but they’re still a top-5 program. Now…if Saban bolts, and he might, that changes the picture entirely.