Matchup: Alabama

This week, Tennessee takes on Alabama in Tuscaloosa. This is our take on this Vols vs Crimson Tide matchup.

Game #: 1111
Site: Tuscaloosa
Date: Oct. 22
Conference: SECW
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Fulmer and for the Crimson Tide - Shula


Crimson Tide

Bama lost three starters from last season, yet still averages 163.5 rushing yards per game. UT averages just 98.8 rushing yards per game and an SEC-worst 2.9 yards per carry. UT's line has done a nice job in pass protection. UT's line has played better than stats indicate.


Alabama's Brodie Croyle went from a 48 percent passer to 53 percent to 67 percent as a junior before his injury. He's hitting 60 percent this season with nine touchdowns and two interceptions. Rick Clausen has hit 60 percent of his passes, Ainge 42 percent. They've combined for more interceptions (6) than touchdown passes (5).


Alabama's Kenneth Darby might be the SEC's best. He's averaging 102.2 yards per game, 5.5 per carry. Gerald Riggs is averaging 92.4 yards and just 4.2 yards per carry.


Alabama lost its big-play threat in Tyrone Prothro but has DJ Hall, Keith Brown, Nick Walker and Matt Caddell. UT has five receivers with at least 13 catches but they need a healthy Robert Meachem.


Crimson Tide

UT has the best pair of defensive tackles in the SEC and end Parys Haralson has been terrific of late. Bama ends Mark Anderson and Wallace Bilberry can be disruptive.


Ryans might be the best linebacker in the SEC. Freddie Roach is All-SEC talent. Kevin Simon, Omar Gaither, Jason Mitchell are solid trio.


Alabama pass defense led nation last year and leads the SEC this year. UT takes a huge hit without Jason Allen.

S. TeamsCOMMENTSS. Teams

UT ranks 109 in kick returns, 108 in net punting, 90 in punt returns. Enough said.


Crimson Tide

The win over Florida was Alabama's first-ever at Bryant-Denny over a top five team. Alabama fans smell blood, blaming Tennessee for the Tide's NCAA woes. But UT has been better on the road than at home in big games.


Alabama 17, Tennessee 13.

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