KEYS TO THE GAME:
TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (3-3, 0-3 SEC)
For Tennessee, the key will be defense. The Vols are explosive on offense and will score some points. What they can't let happen is Alabama getting way out ahead. You have to get physical and play tough football. Alabama is going to try and grind you out on the ground and break your will. This is big-boy football. Don't play like children.
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (6-0, 3-0 SEC)
For the Tide, like Tennessee, the key is defense. The Vols get their spunk from their offense. If you can get to Tyler Bray, he has shown that he will make bad decisions and get frustrated. Get to Bray and this game is yours. However, Tennessee has only surrendered three sacks through six contests.
— Tennessee is averaging 183.3 yards per game rushing in 2012. That is a 93.2 yard increase over their 2011 average.
— Tennessee's 37 wins over Alabama are the most in the NCAA.
— The Vols rank third in the SEC in total offense, averaging 482.3 yards per game.
— Alabama has won the last five meetings between the Tide and Vols dating back to 2007.
— Alabama leads the NCAA in every defensive statistical category.
— Quarterback A.J. McCarron has yet to throw an interception in 2012. He boasts 12 passing touchdowns.
2012 STAT LEADERS:
Tyler Bray — 131-217, 1730 yds., 16 TD/7 INT
Rajion Neal — 112 att., 500 yds., 5 TD
Justin Hunter — 35 catches, 497 yds., 4 TD
A.J. McCarron — 89-132, 1170 yds., 12 TD/0 INT
Eddie Lacy — 82 att., 491 yds., 7 TD
Amari Cooper — 21 catches, 263 yds., 3 TD
WHAT A WIN MEANS:
A win give the Vols a signature win for the first time in several years and will hush and job-security talk for third-year coach Derek Dooley. The Vols are desperate for an SEC win and it wouldn't hurt to get it from the No. 1 team in the country.
A win for the Tide is really their first proving opportunity. Alabama's schedule thus far has been mediocre. The Vols may be their first true test and a win means another stepping stone to the SEC title game.