Tennessee finally found a way to get an SEC win last weekend when they defeated Mississippi State 20-10 in Knoxville. But the Vols’ task this weekend is much, much more difficult.
The Vols (2-4, 1-2 SEC) are traveling down to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to take on the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0 SEC) for a late kick-off. The Tide are averaging 51 points a game this season, and they’ve won every game they’ve played by at least 19 points.
The Third Saturday in October used to be one of the most talked about rivalries in college football. But over the last decade, Alabama (and Tennessee’s decline) has made it into a lopsided affair.
Alabama has won 12-straight games against the Vols dating back to Tennessee’s last win in the series in 2006. Most of those Tide victories haven’t even been close, either. Alabama has defeated the Vols by 20 or more points in nine of their 12-straight wins, and that includes three-straight wins of 30-plus points.
Last season, the Tide scored the most points they ever have against the Vols in the entire series’ history. The two teams have played annually since 1928, and Alabama’s 58 points in last season’s 58-21 win were the most the Tide had ever scored against the Vols.
That number could be threatened again this Saturday.
Tennessee played their best game of the 2019 season last Saturday against Mississippi State, but the Bulldogs’ offense is no comparison to Alabama’s. The Tide’s offense is led by Heisman hopeful Tua Tagovailoa, who has already thrown for over 2,000 yards in six games and has tossed 27 touchdowns and only one interception.
Alabama’s defense isn’t as good as previous Nick Saban defenses, but they’re still in the top half of the SEC in most major defensive statistical categories.
The Vols are massive underdogs for Saturday’s rivalry game, but with the upset of unranked South Carolina over No. 3 Georgia from last weekend fresh in the minds of Vol fans and college football fans everywhere, there’s a sense of “anything can happen” from UT’s players.
If you can’t make it to the game, here’s how you can watch or listen to the Vols’ match-up with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Kickoff: 9:00 Eastern, October 19th, Bryant-Denny Stadium (Tuscaloosa, AL)
TV: ESPN (Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay, Molly McGrath)
Streaming Online: ESPN.com/Watch, ESPN app
Radio: Vol Network, XM 383
Line: Alabama (-34.5)