Who: Alabama vs Tennesee
Date: Saturday, Oct. 20 |
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Neyland Stadium — Knoxville, Tennessee
Tagovailoa will be back under center this week, but last week’s drama showed more about how much Jalen Hurts has improved as a
passer than anything else. We also saw some wrinkles put into the game plan, including Hurts taking a jet sweep hand off, stopping
on a designed reverse and throwing a screen pass. Tagovailoa followed it up on the very next play by completing a pass to Hurts.
All of this has been written to illustrate a point — Alabama has been purposely vanilla on offense for most of the year, and has
plenty more of the playbook to unleash. What better time than in a rivalry game?
The Crimson Tide defense held the high-octane Missouri defense to just 212 yards and 3.48 yards per play — its best performance
of the year. Quinnen Williams has established himself as one of the nation’s top defensive lineman, the secondary hasn’t missed a
beat despite the loss of Trevon Diggs and it appears to be business as usual in T-Town.
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano had the game of his career on the Plains, throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns. What was even
more impressive than Guarantano was the Volunteers wide receiving corps. Jauan Jennings, Josh Palmer and Marquez Callaway all made
NFL-caliber catches throughout the afternoon to help Guarantano pull off the upset. The Vols lost defensive end Jonathan Kongbo to
a season-ending injury last week, but still kept Auburn in check — which isn’t tough to do these days.
Where is Alabama-Tennessee being played?
Saturday’s contest will take place at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. The Crimson Tide have won the last five matchups there
by an average of 21 points per game. Tennessee is 5-5 in its last 10 home games dating back to the 2017 season.
If you’re into sweating late garbage touchdowns and field goals that are of interest to Las Vegas, Alabama has been your team. The
Crimson Tide are 1-3 against the spread in their last four games, with the gambling outcome of all four coming down to the final
minutes. This game will be no different. Alabama will run over, around and through the Volunteers long enough to build a
comfortable lead, but Saban will take his foot off the gas. As was the case with Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M and Billy Napier at
Louisiana-Lafayette, Saban will do all that he can not to embarrass his former assistants. Alabama will win comfortably, but Saban
will choose not to cover.