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Alabama Game Preview
"When the leaves change color, the boys become men."
Posted: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014, 3:02 PM
by Josh
Tennessee's offensive performance against Ole Miss was absolutely putrid. Time and time again the defense gave them a short field and time and time again they blew it. The double reverse that took them out of field goal range was particularly disgusting. As bad as the offensive line has been, it's not all on them. Justin Worley has regressed. I guess that is natural given the fact that he's been hit like 50+ times this year. His decision making has gotten progressively worse. He has no feel for the pass rush and when he sees it coming he doesn't throw the ball away. Instead he takes a 7-10 yard loss. It's hard to do anything when you are constantly having to go 17 yards for a first down. The offensive line has their fair share of blame, but Worley could do some things to make the breakdowns not be so catastrophic.

I make it no secret that I am a traditionalist. It is for this reason that the Alabama game will always be the biggest rivalry game for me. To me, the Tennessee/Alabama rivalry is the absolute best in all of sports. It is the two best historical programs in the best conference in college football. They have beaten Tennessee more than any other program and Tennessee has beaten them more than any other program. Even though Alabama has beaten Tennessee 7 straight years and this will likely be 8, it is still my favorite game of the year.

Tony began the drumbeat last week that he wanted to see some Neyland magic against Alabama. Admittedly, before last Saturday, it didn't seem all that far fetched. Then Tennessee got shut down by Ole Miss and Alabama shut out Texas A&M (something I never thought I'd see in the Sumlin era) and all of the sudden it doesn't look good at all for Tennessee.

Defensively I think Tennessee can hang with Alabama. This Tennessee defense has proved to be one of the best in the SEC, even though the rest of the mindless national media hasn't caught on. I see this game playing out much like the Ole Miss game did. The defense will give the offense plenty of chances. And just like the Ole Miss game, the offense will be unable to take advantage.

Offensively the Vols will continue to struggle unless they try some different things and play smarter football. At last I heard, Worley was supposed to start. Unfortunately I don't think we will see the offense look much different than it has all year. They will struggle to move the ball at all and probably give up 5-10 sacks. I hate to say this but I don't think Worley will finish this game. Just like last year, the Alabama game is where he will probably suffer his bad injury. I hope I'm wrong but he is going to get pounded worse this game than he has all year I think.

Alabama 27
Tennessee 3

Before I get to my other picks I want to address the Kiffin factor. Tennessee fans will boo him hard and probably chant profane things toward the Alabama bench. And I'm not going to blame anyone for doing so. I would boo him but I wouldn't chant the profane things but I actually think Tennessee fans have a right to do that, in this case only though. People think that Tennessee fans are so hurt by Lane Kiffin because he was going to be this great championship coach and he left. Kiffin proved at USC that he was no championship coach. The reason Tennessee fans hate him so much is that he devalued Tennessee's brand. People can say that he left for his dream job all they want but he wanted to use Tennessee as a stepping stone. When Urban Meyer announced that he was resigning from Florida, Kiffin was actively trying to get that job. Meyer would later change his mind and stay on for another year, but that goes to show you it wasn't about a dream job. It was about going somewhere he thought was a better job. People hate Kiffin because he reduced Tennessee to a stepping stone job and our incompetent athletic director replaced him with probably the worst coach to ever coach at a power program in the SEC, despite having the opportunity to hire Kevin Sumlin. At the time, Tennessee was hanging on the edge of the cliff of relevance and just as it looked as Kiffin was going to pull us up onto the ground, he stepped on our fingers and kicked us in the head, plummeting Tennessee in to depths of irrelevance that had never been seen here before. That is why Tennessee fans hate Lane Kiffin. And they are justified in their hate.

In other games...

Mississippi State 48
Kentucky 27

Ole Miss 35
LSU 24

Auburn 45
South Carolina 31

Ohio State 31
Penn State 28

Michigan State 35
Michigan 17

Overall record strait up (24-18)

That's all I have for now. As always, I appreciate everyone taking the time to read this. For those who want, you can follow me on Twitter @Joshes_Blog

Have a great weekend everyone. Go Vols and God Bless!

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