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The Third Saturday in October
Posted: Tuesday, October 11th, 2016, 12:10 PM
by Alison
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The third Saturday in October! It’s circled on the calendar for every Tennessee and Alabama fan. The rivalry began in 1901 in Birmingham, Alabama. Alabama leads the 97 game series 52–38–7. This Saturday, #1 Alabama and #9 Tennessee will be the highest-ranked Third Saturday in October, ever!

This game runs deep in rivalry between both teams. While Nick Saban is 9-0 against the Vols, this could be the year that the newer generation of Bama fans understand showing respect for the Vols and the traditional rivalry.

Tennessee is coming off of a double overtime loss by now #6, Texas A&M. Tennessee set a school record with seven, S-E-V-E-N, turnovers (five were fumbles and A&M recovered all of them) and trailed 7-28 in the 3rd. Just how the Vols like it. They have been outscored 62-17 in the first quarter but have been a power-house in the second half all season. It doesn’t matter the score, their never quit attitude shifts into fifth gear and then that Rocky Top magic explodes. Even with three of the top four Tennessee defense players injured and starting running back, Jalen Hurd out of the game, the Vols found a way to give their all for Tennessee and compete until the end.

Kamara put on a clinic and became the first running back from a Power 5 school (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, PAC-12, SEC) to earn at least 150 receiving yards and rush for 125 yards in the same game in 20 years! With three touchdowns, Kamara ended the game with more than 300 all-purpose yards. He made a statement for himself and for the depth of the Vols.

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said after the game "Today was what people envisioned [when A&M moved to the SEC]." It was a one hell of a game and defined Saturday’s Down South. No one in Knoxville is complaining about injuries or brutal schedules. They are focused on the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Just when Florida and LSU keep making every excuse in the book to try to avoid their game because rescheduling would be too draining on their teams. Umm.. have you seen Tennessee’s schedule? Florida then on the road to Georgia and Texas A&M then back home for Alabama all in four weeks.

On Nick Saban’s “Hey Coach” radio show he was asked about Alabama’s biggest rivalry. “It was very obvious to me that the Tennessee game was always the biggest game. It was always the biggest game for us. That's no disrespect to Auburn or the great Iron Bowl rivalries. But to our players and a lot of our fans, the Tennessee game, because of the tradition of the game.” Saban put the third Saturday in October above the Iron Bowl (the in-state game against Auburn)!

Neyland stadium will be loud. The Volunteers and their fans respect the rivalry, but they are not scared of Alabama. Tennessee does hate Alabama’s offensive coordinator, Lane Kiffin. The former UT coach will be the most booed man in Knoxville. This could also be Alvin Kamara’s biggest game yet. The Alabama transfer had his breakout performance against Texas A&M and that was just his warm up. His speed is dangerous. This game could be dangerous to the college football playoff.

Tradition for the game is the winner smokes cigars in celebration. Both teams have their lighters ready.

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