The Vols are coming off a bye week which should mean this team is well rested and ready for Alabama on Saturday. That’s just what it should mean, in reality all their bye week guarantees is that they did not lose last week, which for all intents and purposes is still a positive.
I don’t know about most Tennessee fans, but this is a game I have been dreading since the beginning of the season. It’s not because I don’t think the Vols stand a chance against the Tide, it’s because they are one team that’s really awful to lose to. Losing to the Florida, LSU and Georgia is awful, but not as awful as this. Alabama fans are loud, passionate and they are cheering for a great team. This isn’t a team like Georgia where their fans can cheer and brag all they want about a win when at the end of the day they still have nothing to be all too proud of, Alabama is arguably the best team in the SEC. Beating them would do little for Tennessee in the standings, but it would certainly do a lot of moral. Let’s be honest, it would do a lot for their fan base that is barely clinging on to this season by a burnt yellow thread.
Since this team has had over a week to rest for this game one would hope the guys will be able to play for the full 60 minutes. Matt Simms is a great quarterback. There is no part of me that feels any doubt about that, he just needs room to get the ball down the field. Room which his offensive line needs to do a better job creating for him, especially against Bama’s defense. Speaking of the Bama defense, I’m sure for the past week they’ve watched hours of game tape involving Tauren Poole. He is the Vols greatest weapon at this point. This game won’t be won on the run-game alone, but theres no way Tennessee will win without it.
Alabama hasn’t settled on a QB yet this season, but they have two fairly solid options. Greg McElroy and A.J McCarron have both been fighting for the QB1 position this season and as of now McElroy seems to be winning out, but barely. The defense needs to capitalize on McElroy’s weakness. The guy is having a hard time holding on to his job as is, if the Vols can take advantage of his nerves then he should begin to unravel like a cheap sweater.
Saturday’s game isn’t make or break for Tennessee. This season is already broke. The pressure is on Alabama tomorrow, just show up Tennessee. Just show up.
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Written by Deniz Kofteci