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Alabama vs. Tennessee Stat & Score Predictions
3:30p, CBS
Posted: Saturday, October 15th, 2016, 1:54 PM • Permalink
Before the season started I predicted we would go 10-2 with L's to Texas A&M and Alabama. A&M because of the spot on the schedule between Georgia and Alabama, and Alabama because of the remaining relative talent deficit (at UT as compared to Alabama) combined with the dip in confidence from an expected loss the week before and the attrition mounting from the SEC schedule, including that four-game grind. Little did I know that we would lose 4 significant starters before the A&M game, and another 4 in that game. I stand by my prediction that we would beat A&M last week, if for no other reason than you cannot foresee losing those additional 4 starters plus having 12 penalties and, most importantly, 7 turnovers. If we hold onto the ball even a little bit more, we win that game despite being on the road and down 8 starters. Yet this team just continues to find ways to win,and is never really out of the game, despite the deficit they tend to build in the first half.

That said, Alabama is a different animal. They have out recruited everyone in the country the last 10 years, and they haven't had many significant injuries this year. In fact, the most concerning of those injuries would be starting linebacker Ruben Foster, who may or may not be a go for the Tennessee game after suffering a concussion last week. The same could be said for Jalen Hurd, who Butch Jones reports as being a full go for us today. While I will not say that Tennessee has no chance…in fact, I think Tennessee has a pretty good chance…I think Vegas, the injury report, and the timing all still favor the Crimson Turd. (Sorry, fam.)

Expect Joshua Dobbs to give Alabama's defense fits, as a Saban defense tends to struggle against mobile QBs and spread offenses. (Which is why they have owned LSU playing with a traditional pro-style running game.) Look for Dobbs to look more impressive on the ground and throwing on the move rather than in the pocket (but, of course, that's old news by this point). Expect him to go 21-34 for 221 yards 2 TD and 2 INTs. Look for him to add a TD on the ground to go with 77 yards rushing.

Look for WRs Jauan Jennings and Josh Malone to continue to have strong performances, though not quite to the level of late. Expect Jennings to get 6 catches for 67 yards, with Malone adding another 5 catches for 48 yards. Look for Tyler Byrd to score his first(?) TD of the season to go with 47 yards himself on 3 catches. Expect Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara to pitch in with a combined 5 rec for 29 yards.

Expect Hurd to carry 8 times for 46 yards and a TD, being used mostly in short yardage situations, including his 2-yd TD run. Look for Kamara to have a decent day against his former team thanks to getting the bulk of the carries, going 18 carries for 97 yards. Expect John Kelly to add 9 carries for 37 yards.

Expect KR Evan Berry to return to form today with KO returns of 45+ and 30+ yards, igniting a Tennessee team and setting them up with good starting field position on 2 TD scoring drives. Expect Kamara to have 1 PR of 12 yards. Look for PK Aaron Medley to have a strong day on kickoffs but to struggle on FGs, going 0-2.

Expect the defense to play with heart but come up short, finally succumbing to the rash of injuries.

And expect a final score of...

Tennessee 28, Alabama 38

Sure, not what we want, but what can you expect with all of the injuries. Of course, as we mentioned before, you never really know what to expect with the 2016 football Volunteers aside from a never-say-die attitude.

"So, you're telling me there's a chance...?"

YES! And until the last second ticks off the clock in Neyland, I say GO VOLS!!! BEAT BAMA!!!

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