October 25, 2013 11:10:39 AM
Tennessee (4-3, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) at No. 1 Alabama (7-0, 4-0), 2:30 p.m. (WCBI)
Line: Alabama by 28 1/2.
Series record: Alabama leads 49-38-7.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
This is Alabama's last game before a showdown with No. 13 LSU in two weeks. Tennessee is fresh from a major upset of No. 20 South Carolina, but a win over the rival Crimson Tide would make a much bigger statement for Butch Jones' team.
Alabama's defensive front against Tennessee's offensive line. Led by nose guard Brandon Ivory and linebacker C.J. Mosley, the Tide barely budges against opposing running games, allowing 98.3 yards per game. Tackles Antonio Richardson and Ja'Wuan James lead Tennessee's formidable group of blockers, who have allowed eight sacks while paving the way for Rajion Neal and the running game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tennessee: QB Justin Worley. Worley is coming off solid performances against Georgia and South Carolina and wasn't intercepted in either game. He'll have to deal with a pass rush led by freshman A'Shawn Robinson and get something going in the passing game, perhaps with emerging freshman WR Marquez North.
Alabama: S Landon Collins. The sophomore moved to free safety to fill in during Ha Ha Clinton-Dix's suspension. Now, he's back at his normal position with the season-ending knee injury to starting strong safety Vinnie Sunseri. Collins, the team's No. 3 tackler, was one of the Tide's top recruits two years ago and has been a wrecking ball on special teams.
FACTS & FIGURES
Alabama has won the last six meetings in this traditional rivalry by an average margin of 34.0-10.8.Tennessee has scored 17 or fewer points in the last nine meetings. ... The Vols snapped a 19-game losing streak to ranked teams with the victory over the Gamecocks on Michael Palardy's last-play, 19-yard field goal. ... AJ McCarron, who is 32-2 as a starting quarterback, could move into a second-place tie on the school's all-time wins list with Jeff Rutledge. Jay Barker (35-2-1) holds the Alabama victory mark among quarterbacks. ... Tennessee has a winning record through seven games for the first time since 2007, also a 4-3 start.
2. Bulldogs look to overcome rash of injuries COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU's Richardson wants to be more consistent COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Sword ready for Newman's help in leading the Bulldogs COLLEGE SPORTS
5. MSU hopes to make most of three-game home stand COLLEGE SPORTS