Staff Predictions for Alabama vs. Tennessee
Alabama comes off one if its best performances in years, as they shut down the high powered offense of Texas A&M, 59-0. The only issue is the victory was at home, which everyone knows is a place of dominance for the Crimson Tide. The road is where this team has struggled as of late. Alabama's road record is 1-1 this year and are averaging a mere 15.5 points a game.
This will be a homecoming party for Lane Kiffin, who will look to silence the boos as quick as possible and continue Alabama's offensive tear. A rivalry which has not meant much in recent years due to the Volunteers in ability to create any threat to the Tide, the fans may be the biggest factor in this game in hopes that this can be a match up that is similar to that of the 2009 game with a different outcome.
Lets take a look at the Tide 99.1 predictions.
Chris Stewart (Host of "The Chris Stewart Show")
Tennessee is beaten and battered, but will come out swinging. Alabama can't possibly play at the same level as last week....can they? A weak UT offensive line will be worn down by a Bama defense that is getting better each week. If the Tide starts fast, this will get ugly. Tide rolls to its 8th straight over the Bug Orange.... Alabama 42, Tennessee 10
Ryan Fowler (Host of "The Game")
Nick Saban learned as much about his team as we did in the last game against Texas A&M. College football is a game of momentum and this team regained that momentum which will pay dividends in the final five games. Alabama’s defense should be able to take advantage of an O-line that has given up 30 sacks, which ranks them last in the SEC and only SMU and Idaho have given up more sacks in CFB. Bama’s secondary gained a lot of confidence against Texas A&M which will allow Smart and Saban to design a game plan to take advantage of the Vols’ weakness.
The 3rd Saturday of October is special for both fan bases, but will continue to lose its luster if Tennessee does not find a way to break the streak. I cannot find an advantage for UT in this game. Lane Kiffin’s return to Knoxville and Alabama’s streak continues with a huge win for Alabama on the road, led by a strong defensive performance. Alabama 42, Tennessee 10
Ryan McMunn (Executive Producer)
The Third Saturday in October. Well, technically it's the fourth Saturday, but that's neither here nor there. The Alabama/Tennessee rivalry has been one of the greatest rivalries in the history of college football, but is the dislike between the teams starting to diminish? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. However, remember that this rivalry is marked by long win streaks on both sides. It is rare to see the teams alternate wins from one year to the next. When Alabama wins, expect 7-9 in a row. Then, when Tennessee finds a way to beat the Tide, expect another 7-9 in a row from ol' Smokey. However, Tennessee doesn't have what it takes to beat Alabama this year.
The youth of Butch Jones's squad aren't quite ready to pull off an upset of this caliber, and after last week's victory over Texas A&M, Alabama may have found the confidence they need to make a run at a national championship. It has been eight years since the Vols defeated Alabama, and the streak will continue this year. Also, don't think Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin doesn't have something up his sleeve for this game. It's safe to say that Tennessee fans and Lane Kiffin aren't very fond of each other, after he bolted from the program as head coach within one year of taking the job in Knoxville in 2009. The 102,000+ fans will be extra loud in Neyland Stadium Saturday, but Kiffin will get the last laugh. Alabama 34, Tennessee 10
Trey Brooks (Producer)
Tennessee is pretty solid defensively, but their efforts there go unrewarded due to their ineptitude on offense. Thus, they give up far more points than they should. The Volunteer offensive line is terrible, and I'm not sure Justin Worley can take much more punishment. All that being said, Alabama has struggled offensively on the road so I'm not ready to throw around a number in the 40's quite yet, especially when you can respect the Vols defense. Tennessee's season is going downhill fast, but unlike A&M I don't expect them to take it so easily. This will be a tough one at first, but in the end talent and depth win out and Alabama takes its 8th straight win in the series. Alabama 28, Tennessee 10
Kevin Connell (Contributor)
Which Alabama team will show up on Saturday: the one that it had its struggles against Ole Miss and Arkansas, or the one that absolutely destroyed Texas A&M last week?
If it was at home, it would be hard for anyone to go against the latter, where the Crimson Tide has looked as dominating as any team in the country. But instead it will be in Knoxville where, rivalry game aside, the crowd is expected to be as electric as ever with Lane Kiffin making his first return trip back to Neyland Stadium since leaving the school after one season in 2010.
The Alabama offense has struggled to score points in its previous two road games and with Tennessee fans particularly looking to get inside Kiffin's head, his work should be cut for him again.
Tennessee will put up a better fight than it has in recent attempts, but Alabama's superior team complemented by its newfound confidence -- and emotion -- still holds a significant advantage over the rebuilding Vols. Alabama 30, Tennessee 16
Ben George (Digital Managing Editor)
Not sure if you heard, but my prediction was hot garbage last week. The good news is I know this week will be much better (it literally can’t be worse). The bad news is I’m still trying to figure out this team. Heading into a bye week and then an incredibly difficult month of November, you would hope to see Alabama put this Tennessee team away quickly. The defense, which continues to get better, should gain more confidence this weekend against a bad Vols offense. Amari Cooper has killed Tennessee since arriving in Tuscaloosa (12 catches, 237 yards, 3 TD) and Saturday shouldn’t be any different. Alabama 34, Tennessee 7