Historic Rivalry Continues
The storied Tennessee/Alabama rivalry continues Saturday afternoon, and the rivalry is as hot as ever after last year’s heated 6-3 victory by the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa.
“I don’t think personally that there’s a better series, at least a more historical series in the South, if not the country, than this game,” coach Phillip Fulmer said. “I always tell them about all the great games, players and plays that have happened in this game.”
This year’s game does not feature Alabama players such as Brodie Croyle, Tyrone Prothro or Demarco Ryans, but Fulmer said he does not believe there will be a drop in Alabama’s overall play.
“The numbers change a little bit, but when you watch the film they’re a fast, physical football team,” Fulmer said.
Team’s Condition Coming Off the Bye Week
Tennessee seemed to be clicking on all cylinders in their 51-33 romp over Georgia, and the bye week gave a few members of the team a chance to get healthy.
Fulmer said that the break gave players such as Jayson Swain and Arron Sears some time to relax and get ready for Alabama.
The practices last week offered the coaches a chance to get the team to work on the basics, Fulmer said.
“We’re coming off a pretty good high after the Georgia game, it came at a good point for us to work on our fundamentals,” Fulmer said. “It’s really important that we continue to improve, especially in the areas we have been doing well. We have another level that we can reach.”
Alabama’s Offensive Weapons
Alabama features some strong offensive options even though they have struggled in recent weeks against Duke and Ole Miss. Sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson has stepped in after Croyle’s departure and posted 1,579 yards and 11 touchdowns for Alabama this season. Wilson is the brother of Hoover High quarterback Ross Wilson, the quarterback from MTV’s “Two a Days.”
Fulmer said the team has capable weapons at the quarterback and receiver positions.
While Tennessee features Robert Meachem and Jayson Swain, the nation’s second best receiving duo in terms of yards, Alabama features the number four duo in receivers Keith Brown and DJ Hall. Hall has accumulated 603 receiving yards and six touchdowns while Brown has brought in 513 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
At tailback, the Crimson Tide features senior standout Kenneth Darby, who has rushed for over 1,000 yards each of the last two seasons and is on pace to top the mark again this season.
Don’t Expect Another Baseball Score
After bringing in David Cutcliffe to run the offensive, Tennessee is leading the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense at 35.2 points per game. While a 6-3 finish is possible, Fulmer does not expect the same result on Saturday.
“We’re night and day from that game last year,” Fulmer said. “This time last year we weren’t efficient at anything.”
Sweet Home Alabama
The stars sure did fall on Alabama. Senior starters and Alabama natives Arron Sears and Jayson Swain prepare to square off against the Crimson Tide for the final time on Saturday. Sears and Swain look to finish their careers at 3-1 against Alabama.
Vols ready to break Crimson Tide
Published: Wed Oct 18, 2006 | Modified: Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:18 a.m.