On October 26th, Butch Jones will take his Tennessee Volunteers down to Tuscaloosa to take on their hated rivals, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Tennessee’s last victory in Tuscaloosa was the 2003 five overtime thriller, which they won 51-43. The last three contests have turned out to be blowouts in favor of Alabama. The Tide have outscored the Vols 204-65 over their six game winning streak in the series.
Over the past five seasons, Alabama has put 33 players into the NFL via the draft. Even though they have lost so much talent to the NFL, they always seem to just reload without much of a hiccup. Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, and Eddie Lacy have given way to T.J. Yeldon at running back.
Along with QB A.J. McCarron, Yeldon is a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. Amari Cooper will provide McCarron with a big play wide receiver.
The defense boasts stud linebackers C.J. Mosely and Adrian Hubbard, All-American candidate safety HaHa Clinton-Dix in the backfield, and a very solid defensive line. The defending 2-time National Champions are many analysts’ favorite to make it a three-peat for Nick Saban.
The Vols, coming off potential — and likely losses — to Georgia and South Carolina, will need to play their best game of the season in order to just compete with Alabama.
Most people will agree that Butch Jones has the UT program headed in the right direction, and a moral victory might be all the Big Orange fan base can hope for in this matchup.
I expect the Crimson Tide to win, and win big in Tuscaloosa, dropping the Volunteers to 3-5 on the season. Good news could be on the horizon for the Vols, as the November schedule looms and winnable games are upcoming.