Three Things You Need to Know about Tennessee
The Third Saturday in October is upon us as the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide squares off against the Tennessee Volunteers at 2:30 PM from Knoxville's Neyland Stadium.
The rivalry has helped to shape the fabric of the Southeastern Conference with Alabama and Tennessee as the top two teams in conference titles dating back to 1933.
All-time, the Crimson Tide leads the series with a record of 55-37-8 not including forfeits or vacated games mandated by NCAA penalties.
Former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will get his first crack at defeating Nick Saban as a collegiate head coach and the Volunteers have an opportunity to make another breakthrough under the first year head coach after winning 30-24 at Auburn last week.
Prior to Saturday's clash in Knoxville, check out three things you need to know about the Tennessee Volunteers.
For Tennessee to have a chance to pull off a stunning upset of the top ranked Crimson Tide, sophomore quarterback Jarrett Guarantano must have another outing like he had at Auburn.
The Lodi, New Jersey, native set a career high for passing yards (328), passing touchdowns (two), completions (21) and attempts (32) in Tennessee's victory at Auburn last Saturday. The Volunteers signal caller was 11-13 on third down passes including a perfect 8-8 on third-and-eight or longer against the Tigers.
For the season, Guarantano is sixth in the Southeastern Conference with a 152.5 passing efficiency rate.
Another area to take into consideration is his ability to protect the football. Except for his two-interception outing against Florida, Guarantano has not thrown an interception in a games this season.
Tennessee's Youthful Offense
A primary handicap that Jeremy Pruitt faces in his debut season in Knoxville is an inexperienced offense.
Tennessee is the only team in the Football Bowl Subdivision not to have a senior make a start at any position on the offensive side of the ball.
In addition to Tennessee, Auburn is the only other team in the SEC not to have at least one senior starter on the offensive line.
The Vols vs. No. 1
The Volunteers have not fared very well against top ranked teams in their program's history.
Tennessee is 2-12 all-time against No. 1 teams with wins over Auburn in 1985 and LSU in 1959.
In the Alabama-Tennessee series, the last time that the Vols toppled an undefeated Crimson Tide squad was in 1996 when Peyton Manning brought Tennessee back from a 13-0 deficit to win 20-13.