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Alabama LB Christian Harris, DB Jordan Battle Break Down Tennessee's 2021 Offense

The duo of Alabama defenders addressed the Volunteers' offense and what level of threat it poses under first-year head coach Josh Heupel.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After its bounce-back victory at Mississippi State this past weekend, Alabama football is not getting too comfortable this week as it prepares for this weekend's homecoming matchup against Tennessee.

On Tuesday afternoon, Crimson Tide linebacker Christian Harris and defensive back Jordan Battle both spoke to the media on that very topic along with noting the differences in this season's Volunteers offense compared to last year's.

With Harris speaking first, the junior linebacker was quick to note how last weekend's statement game against the Bulldogs was not actually a statement at all. Rather, it was simply a result of better preparation after the motivation that came from the loss at College Station.

“I think, you know, one thing we noticed from that A&M week was just we need to prepare better," Harris said. "You know, trying to bounce back and not be a team that lacks preparation and had the same outcome. You know what I’m saying. [We] had to be motivated. You had to be motivated by a loss in order to bounce back like that.

"That's something you want to do each week, not just that week we’re at Mississippi State, and that’s something we’re trying to stand on.”

Under first-year head coach Josh Heupel, Tennessee has now won two of its four SEC games so far this season. Along with beating South Carolina and Missouri in heavy-handed fashion, the Volunteers were also narrowly edged out by Ole Miss this past weekend.

With a new head coach comes a new style of offense, which is something that both Battle and Harris are very well-aware of.

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“Really, the biggest difference is up-tempo," Battle said. "They almost have a similar offensive scheme to Ole Miss. They’re very fast. We’ve got to focus on getting lined up early and getting the call and making sure we execute.”

Against the fast-paced Ole Miss offense, the Alabama defense gave up 21 points and 291 total yards. While the Crimson Tide offense was able to out-pace the Rebels in nearly every offensive category, the game was certainly not the defense's best performance of the season.

Tennessee has utilized two quarterbacks this season in Hendon Hooker and Joe Milton III, both of which provide a certain degree of dual-threat potential to the Volunteers' offense. Hooker was injured this past weekend against Ole Miss and his availability still remains foggy, but Milton will be ready to go should Hooker's injury prove more serious than expected.

Harris noted the ability that both of Tennessee's quarterbacks bring to the table under Heupel's first season as head coach.

“They're very versatile," Harris said. "Their quarterbacks have the ability to be able to sit in the pocket and throw and make a couple good QB runs as well, or they can get out the pocket and extend plays.

"They're very explosive, and they put up a good amount of points all year, so they’re definitely going to present a good challenge for us.”

Alabama vs Tennessee is currently scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT kickoff (ESPN).