The rivalry between the Tide and Vols, known as “The Third Saturday in October,” is crucial to the College Football Playoff race.
Bryce Young, the quarterback for No. 3 Alabama, could be available when the Crimson Tide visit Rocky Top to take on No. 6 Tennessee. Young is “expected to start” against the Vols, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel on GameDay on Saturday morning. Young missed last week’s victory over Texas A&M due to a sprained shoulder. If all goes well during pregame warmups, the current Heisman Trophy winner will suit up for the Crimson Tide, according to Thamel.
But this iteration of the “Third Saturday in October” rivalry game is very different from those of the previous fifteen years, Young or not. For the first time since 1989, both teams will begin the game unbeaten, and the Volunteers’ 15-game losing run versus the Crimson Tide is the only time that they have even been ranked at kickoff.
After defeating Texas A&M 24-20 last week, the Crimson Tide experienced their worst scare of the year when the Aggies’ possible game-winning pass from the 2-yard line went incomplete. After defeating then-No. 25 LSU 40-13 in Death Valley, the Volunteers are on a high and are anticipating a crazy atmosphere in Knoxville, Tennessee.
On a Saturday afternoon, what can you anticipate? Here is a preview of the Alabama vs. Tennessee SEC on CBS game: I must know
Continued from “Bryce Young watch”: After missing last weekend’s game due to a sprained shoulder, Young, the standout quarterback for Alabama and the current Heisman winner, said earlier this week that he is “hopeful” that he can play. After telling CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd that Young had made significant improvement this week and will try to play against the Vols if all goes according to plan in the pregame workouts, it now seems like Saban might get his wish.
Jalen Milroe, a redshirt freshman, will start another game if he isn’t cleared. Last Saturday, Milroe threw three touchdown passes but also two fumbles and one interception. Milroe’s performance wasn’t precisely what Saban had hoped for.
Uneasiness on the road in front of more than 100,000 spectators against the No. 6 team in the nation is very different from anxiety at home against an unranked opponent. Alabama’s chances will drastically change if Young is unable to go or even if he isn’t fully well.
Make straight-up and against-the-spread picks for the upcoming week.
Tillman back? Tennessee’s passing offense, which averages 340.4 yards per game and ranks ninth in the country, has done a lot of its work without its top receiver. Even though Cedric Tillman, a senior, opened the season as quarterback Hendon Hooker’s primary target, he underwent “tight rope” ankle surgery in September after just three games. He amassed 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he might re-team with Jalin Hyatt and Bru McCoy in what will be the most difficult passing attack Alabama’s secondary has ever encountered.
Heupel stated on Monday that Cedric was doing well. “He underwent surgery in an effort to recover in time for this one, which is one of the reasons. Over the weekend, he kept improving, so we’ll keep an eye on him. At the end of the day, just as I indicated last week, Cedric and our medical team will decide what is best for him, both now and in the future.”
A vicious pass rush led by EDGE Will Anderson Jr. will likely be Alabama’s strongest defense against this group.
How can you stop Jahmyr Gibbs? The Crimson Tide’s standout running back has been the center of the offense since Young’s injury. In the victory over Arkansas, he carried for 206 yards (including two carries of 70 yards or more), and 154 yards last week against the Aggies. Tennessee must stop him if it wants to have a shot, regardless of whether Young or Milroe receive the carries.
He is explosive, so you can be sure they will look for ways to get the ball into his hands, according to Heupel. “It’s best to stop him from beginning the run game. If he does, he is capable of carrying it all the way through. He is quick and has exceptional vision behind the line of scrimmage. He can strike holes when he notices them. He also does a great job of making folks miss. When they employ him in the pass game as well, you must do a fantastic job of taking him away and matching him out. He must be contained in the run game.”
Just 2.79 yards per carry and 89.2 yards per game are allowed by Tennessee. This weekend, Rocky Top will be a strength-on-strength environment.
Photo Credits: https://clutchpoints.com/