By Andrew Edwards
As the third Saturday in October approaches, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Tennessee Volunteers look to collide in a rivalry that hasn’t been very competitive since Nick Saban’s arrival in Tuscaloosa.
To puts things into perspective, this game has seen the Crimson Tide win 12 straight, dating back to 2007. Nick Saban has never lost to the Vols since he took over as head coach of the Crimson Tide and holds the record for the most consecutive wins in the series.
Out of the 12 games, only two have seen the crimson tide win by fewer than ten points, 2009 and 2015. The average margin of victory over the other ten games – 26.9.
A few other facts about the last time Tennessee beat Alabama:
Twitter was only about 6 months old.
The iPhone nor Instagram were created.
Current high school freshman were two years old.
George Bush still had half a term left in his presidency.
Justin Timberlake was at the top of the Billboard Charts.
Key Matchup: Tide Passing Attack vs Vols Secondary
If the Vols want to slow down the Crimson Tide, it’s going to need to see another solid performance from their secondary. Last weekend, they limited Mississippi State quarterbacks to 146 passing yards and three interceptions. It’s going to be nearly impossible for them to completely stop the Bama air raid, so turnovers will have to be created by that unit.
Player to Watch: Alabama RB Najee Harris
Harris didn’t necessarily have the start to the season that many expected him to but he has emerged of late. Against Texas A&M, Harris ran 20 times for 114 yards – his highest total on the season. Look to see if he can continue his success on the ground vs the Vols.
Alabama will be without Devonta Smith, its’ top wideout on the year, in the first half of the game this weekend. He was ejected in the waning minutes of their game against Texas A&M.
Alabama and Tennessee are set to face off at 8 PM this Saturday on ESPN.