Tennessee (2-4, 1-2 SEC) at No. 1 Alabama (6-0, 3-0), Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT (ESPN).
Line: Alabama by 34.
Series record: Alabama leads 55-38-7.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The traditional Third Saturday in October rivalry is always big for both teams, though it’s been dominated by the Crimson Tide since coach Nick Saban arrived. Tennessee is trying to snap a 12-game losing streak in the series and turn the season around after a disappointing first half.
Alabama’s passing game against Tennessee’s defense. The Tide is averaging 366 passing yards per game behind quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who has an array of dangerous receivers. The Volunteers have had some defensive struggles but they rank third in the SEC in pass defense and have picked off nine passes while allowing eight touchdowns through the air.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tennessee: QB Brian Maurer sustained a concussion against Mississippi State but has been practicing and coach Jeremy Pruitt said his status would be a game-time decision. Former starter Jarrett Guarantano replaced the freshman late in the second quarter. Maurer had a big first half against Georgia, including a 73-yard touchdown pass.
Alabama: WR Jerry Jeudy had a quiet outing against Texas A&M and hasn’t reached 100 yards in any of the last four games. He still leads the SEC in receptions per game with an average of seven. With DeVonta Smith likely missing the first half as punishment after getting ejected for throwing a punch at a Texas A&M player, Jeudy could get targeted more frequently.
FACTS & FIGURES
The teams have played every year since 1928, except 1943. … Saban is 14-1 against Tennessee, including a 12-0 mark at Alabama. … Pruitt is a former Alabama defensive coordinator who played for the Tide from 1995-96. Saban has won all 18 meetings against his former assistants, including last week’s 47-28 win over Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher. … Alabama has won 87 consecutive games against unranked teams, the longest streak in FBS history. Tennessee is 2-13 against No. 1 teams. The Vols’ latest win over a top-ranked team came against Auburn in 1985.
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