The Alabama Crimson Tide are on the road this week in Knoxville for an SEC showdown with the Tennessee Volunteers. Alabama are looking to avoid a letdown after dismantling the Georgia Bulldogs by a score of 41-24 last week in Tuscaloosa. Georgia kept things interesting in the first half, but the power of the Crimson Tide offense overwhelmed a good Bulldogs’ defense.
When DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle got into a groove, there was no slowing Alabama down. A 90-yard strike from Mac Jones to the speedster Waddle changed the dynamic of that game really quickly. That was the punch that connected to wobble Georgia.
If Alabama can make it look that easy against a solid Georgia defense, then they’re going to score on whoever they want in the FBS this season. The one team that might have an answer is Clemson, and even then, the Crimson Tide are still going to make the Tigers work really hard if they meet in the College Football Playoff.
Tennessee are up next on the list of teams that will try to slow down the Crimson Tide. The Volunteers are on a two-game losing streak after losses against Georgia, 44-21, and Kentucky, 34-7. They opened the season with productive 31-27 and 35-12 wins over South Carolina and Missouri. Their effort in the last two weeks has been nothing short of disappointing. That’s been the MO of this team over the years.
Provide enough hope to fans and then take it all back with a couple of lackluster outings. Instead of building up confidence for Alabama week, Tennessee has been regressing in the wrong direction. Conversely, Alabama seems to be heating up, albeit they must avoid a letdown after cruising past Georgia last week.
Alabama has beaten Texas A&M, 52-24, Ole Miss, 63-48, and Georgia, 41-24, after opening the year with a 38-19 win over Missouri. Nick Saban pulled his starters after the first half against Mizzou or that one could have been much uglier. The score is a bit deceptive in that matchup on September 26. Tennessee has to find a way to disrupt the combo of Najee Harris, Smith, and Waddle. Pick your poison for how the Crimson Tide want to move the ball. Head below for our free Alabama vs. Tennessee pick for October 24, 2020.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Tennessee Volunteers NCAAF Betting Odds:
Alabama vs. Tennessee Prediction:
Alabama is a tough offense to hold down for four quarters. Even if things look bright for a quarter or two, like Georgia was able to accomplish last week, it doesn’t mean Alabama can’t heat up in just one drive. I don’t know if Tennessee has the horses on defenses to contain the Crimson Tide for a quarter, let alone a full game on Saturday afternoon. Mac Jones has gotten off to a fast start in his first season as the full-time starter at Alabama.
Jones has passed for 12 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on 78.3% completions. Through his three-year career, he’s connected for 27 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. It must be a joy playing behind this offensive line, with a running back like Najee Harris, and having the chance of dealing the ball to Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith.
There isn’t much a defense can do to counter the Crimson Tide’s ability offensively. Alabama is fifth in the nation with 561.3 yards per game and second with 48.5 points per game. None of the offenses ahead of Alabama have had to deal with Georgia. Give Alabama the schedule of SMU, Memphis, North Texas, or UCF, the Crimson Tide could put up 700 yards a game. Could you imagine the damage Alabama could do in the Big 12?
Tennessee has conceded 362 yards and 29.3 points per game against South Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, and Kentucky. Georgia scored 44 points on the Vols with ease, and Alabama has a far superior offense. Their defense has already been leaky and haven’t played a high-octane offense like Alabama. Look for the Crimson Tide to score at will in Knoxville on Saturday afternoon.
Ohio State and Clemson will likely write up a solid gameplan to move the ball on Alabama if they meet in the CFP. However, I don’t have as much confidence in the Vols on Saturday. The offense is coming off a putrid performance against Kentucky, where they scored 7 points in a 34-7 losing effort. Jarrett Guarantano was forced into 2 interceptions, and he passed for only 88 yards on 14 for 21 passing.
He has passed for 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on 63.1% completions in 2020. Don’t be surprised if Tennessee looks elsewhere at QB in this game. The lone bright spot for Tennessee against the Wildcats was Eric Gray with 128 yards on 24 carries. Tennessee won’t be able to establish much of a game on the ground, though, because Alabama likely gets ahead early and forces the Vols into passing the ball. I will side with Alabama by four touchdowns or thereabout in this one.