Happy Friday, everyone. It’s an indictment on the state of this rivalry that the spread is frive touchdowns and few writers bother with a legit preview and prediction, but there are some. Before we get started, however, Saban channelled a little John L. Smith on his “Hey, Coach” show last night:
Saban said “this is the time of year to get your piss hot,” he said “to use a locker room saying.” He also said he didn’t want to offend anyone with that.
No offense taken, Coach. Should that hot piss also go through a tin horn, or...
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt, a former Alabama player and assistant coach, is intimately familiar with the rivalry.
’’I grew up watching it, I had the opportunity to play in it, I’ve had an opportunity to coach in it - now on both sides,’’ Pruitt said. ‘’So this week does kind of get you going right there.’’
Streak aside, Saban took time this week to remind any players who didn’t grow up with this rivalry of its significance.
’’He was just explaining to us, this game really means a lot to him, and everybody,’’ Tide defensive end Raekwon Davis said. ‘’So we’ve got to go out there and just execute.’’
Tennessee didn’t have an answer for Tagovailoa last season, and he has done a fantastic job of distributing the football to a ridiculous group of receivers. Of all Tagovailoa’s amazing statistics, the one that stands out most might be the fact he has 42 touchdowns to two interception at home for his career. Tennessee had one of those interceptions when Tagovailoa was a freshman backup, and chances are he knows that. Alabama gets off to a fast start and never looks back in another SEC blowout at home.
Alabama 49, Tennessee 17
There was a time when parades were held when a team scored 20 points on the Tide D, and it’s been done three times in the last four games. The games weren’t all that close, and there wasn’t any drama, but the D is still a work in progress.
It’ll look like things are progressing this week.
The Tide defense will be terrific, Tua will be Tua with a. big first quarter, and it’ll be a 13th straight win in the series with relative ease.
Alabama 44, Tennessee 6
Will Backus, sports assistant
Alabama 45, Tennessee 14: Alabama is more than capable of laying 50 points on Tennessee’s defense, but the Crimson Tide’s reserves will likely be on the field early in the second half.
John Adams, columnist
Alabama 52, Tennessee 20: Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa wouldn’t be the first player whose Heisman Trophy campaign has benefited from playing the Vols.
Gentry Estes, columnist
Alabama 48, Tennessee 20: It’s another game where Tennessee has zero to lose and would do well just to hang around for a while. And the Vols’ coach certainly knows the opposition.
The Vols showed a pulse at home last week against Mississippi State. Of course, last year they had knocked off Auburn (LOL) the week before Alabama came to town, and I was personally in attendance to see the carnage in that 58-21 beating. New QB Brian Maurer had injected a little bit of life into the offense, and it’s peak #Vols that they will likely have to turn back to Jarrett Guarantano due to Maurer’s concussion. Truthfully, even if he is cleared to play, they should hold Maurer out of this one. There is no need to risk another injury against a defense that is going to be hungry after a relatively rough performance against Texas A&M.
Look for Saban to use this game to work on defense and running the ball. Don’t get me wrong, Tua Tagovailoa will get his numbers, but the offensive line will be asked to take another step in the run game this week. Call it Alabama, 48-10 with Tennessee’s lone touchdown coming very late.
Of course, that is just my opinion. Vote and give us yours in the comments.
How hot will Alabama’s piss be?
This poll is closed
Boiling: Tide covers 35
Hot enough to burn: Tide by 21-34
Reasonably warm: Tide by 10-20
Uncomfortably cool: Tide by 1-9
Get out the Flomax: Vols shock the world (those who choose this automatically enter concussion protocol)
The Volunteers are hoping to end that bitter streak and break out the traditional victory cigars once again Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
”It means everything to me, man,” Tennessee linebacker Darrell Taylor said. “It’s a cigar game. Whoever wins gets to smoke that cigar, and we ain’t never got it yet. So that’s what we’re looking to go do. We’re looking to go play and looking to go win.”
You’d better find another reason to smoke a cigar, my man.
Alabama’s offensive line is on the rise.
It is worth noting that the big uglies up front have gotten progressively better through these first six games. Gary Danielson pointed out in the A&M game, “From game one to game six the offensive line is the most improved facet of this team.” Part of that is due to the return of guard Deonte Brown from the injury list. That’s bad news for the remaining six opponents on the schedule and whoever has to face them in the postseason. Can you imagine Tagovailoa getting even more comfortable and having even more time to throw? Or what about the running lanes getting bigger for Harris and Brian Robinson Jr.? Look out.
Hopefully we continue to see that growth.
Alabama is in late on another scatback.
Gibbs said a strong push from Alabama could be a game-changer for him. It certainly was for Jacobs, whose best offer was from hometown Tulsa before Alabama offered while he was about to sign his scholarship papers.
“I’m very excited to be hearing from Bama,” he said. “If they come after me hard, I’d say there’s a strong chance of them being who I choose.”
Alabama currently has two running backs among its 23 commitments – Hueytown 4-star Roydell Williams and Kyle Edwards, a 3-star from Destrahan (La.).
Sounds like Saban can pull him if he wants him. Of course, some would see this as a concession on five-stars Zachary Evans and Jase McLellan. Guess we will see.
Last, Reggie Ragland got himself a TD last night.
Reggie Ragland with a Touchdown pic.twitter.com/gVgAPqmyV3— Alabama DieHards (@AlabamaDieHards) October 18, 2019
Pretty cheap one, but he will take it.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.