To say that Tennessee has struggled this season would be an understatement. After an overtime win over Georgia Tech to open the season, they haven’t accomplished much else. After being shut out by Georgia two weeks ago, it has been down hill. Just last week, at the goal line with under ten seconds to go, the Vols couldn’t find their way across to beat struggling South Carolina. All in all, this is not their season.


Now, that confused team heads to Tuscaloosa to take on the top ranked, undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide. This match up doesn’t bode well for the Vols. The team sits at 3-3, putting them at 5th place in a less than stellar SEC East. With a coach on the hot seat, this is not exactly the start that they were looking for. Many are ready to give Butch Jones the boot midseason and I don’t see that getting any better with a game against Alabama on the horizon.

Date: Saturday, Oct. 21
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Venue: Bryant Denny Stadium
Network: CBS

On the other side, Alabama is once again soaring high and above the rest. The only team to have stood anywhere close to them so far was Texas A&M two weeks ago and who knows if that was a fluke or not. Either way, they are still undefeated and welcoming the Vols into Bryant Denny with the promise of another beat down on the horizon.

For Alabama, this one is seemingly easy. They simply need to play their game and execute on all sides of the ball. On the offensive side of the ball, Damien Harris will be the key to victory for the Tide. Getting the running game going will be huge against a struggling Vols defense and Harris is one of the stronger runners in the country.

On the other side, Alabama will need Minkah Fitzpatrick and company to execute from the first snap. They will need to generate turnovers, something they have been quite good at so far this season.

To even have a chance, Tennessee will have to come into this game without even thinking about what has happened this season to date. They will need to look at Alabama as just another football team, not anyone special or important.

Most importantly, the will need to get to Jalen Hurts and keep him off balance. That is what Texas A&M did most of their match up a few weeks ago and that allowed them to stand toe to toe with the Tide. Tennessee will need to recreate that if they want a chance on Saturday.