Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Rocky Road Tennessee: High Tide...Low Vols
It has been several years since both schools had “powerhouse” teams during the same season, but the history of the rivalry and what the game means to each fanbase will never change.
The Alabama Crimson Tide enter the 2010 version of this celebrated rivalry as the No. 7 team in the land (6-1, 3-1 SEC), while the Tennessee Volunteers under new coach Derek Dooley…have struggled. The Vols (2-4, 0-3 SEC) are one of the youngest teams in the country and have paid the price this season.
Tennessee has talent, but as a unit…the Vols have been miserable in 2010.
The Vols have been dismantled by Oregon and Georgia, lost at home to Florida and were defeated by LSU in one of the wildest finishes in recent memory.
In respect to victories…Tennessee has defeated Tennessee-Martin and the UAB Blazers. The Vols defeated UAB 32-29…in overtime.
As has been the case since 2008, the only thing Tennessee has to gain in this contest is honest confidence for the remainder of the season and the satisfaction of ruining the SEC and possible national title hopes of Alabama.
The Tennessee Volunteers have absolutely nothing to lose come Saturday night, which is all the more reason Alabama better be ready for anything…and everything.
We all know what happens when you don’t respect the opposition. If Alabama wants to play in Atlanta and possibly Glendale, Arizona…the Crimson Tide will respect Tennessee.
Simms has thrown for 1,136 yards thus far in 2010. The Vols leading passer has also thrown a total of seven touchdown passes and four interceptions.
Rumors have been swirling all week that Tyler Bray could see action at the quarterback position against Alabama.
Bray has only attempted 18 passes all season, but was impressive in late game action at Georgia.
On the ground, the Volunteers are led by Tauren Poole. Even though Tennessee is 2-4 on the season, the bright spot has certainly been found in the play of the Vols leading rusher.
Poole has a total of 478 yards this season, including five touchdowns.
David Oku and Rajion Neal are quality backs for Tennessee, but the workload has been carried by Poole in 2010.
At the receiver position, the main targets of Matt Simms are Denarius Moore, Justin Hunter, Zach Rogers, Luke Stocker and Gerald Jones.
In respect to the contest with Alabama, look for Moore, Gerald Jones and tight end Luke Stocker to be utilized often. Stocker is a quality player and certainly proved to be a factor against Alabama last season.
The Tennessee offense has the talent to be efficient, but the defense will have to contain Alabama to give the Volunteers a chance to be successful.
Linebacker Nick Reveiz and cornerback Janzen Jackson are talented players, but the Tennessee defensive unit as a whole will have to play sound football if they want to keep Alabama under 30 points.
Posted by The Crimson Elephant at 2:00 PM