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Questions Continue to Surround Who Alabama Will Face as Tennessee's QB on Saturday

The Volunteers' starting quarterback was injured toward the end of Tennessee's last game making his status questionable for Alabama and forcing the Crimson Tide to prepare for two quarterbacks.

Towards the end of the game against Ole Miss, Tennessee starting quarterback Hendon Hooker left the game with an injury leaving his status questionable for this week's game against Alabama. 

During Wednesday's SEC coaches teleconference, Tennessee coach Josh Heupel gave an update on Hooker. 

"He's still day-to-day at this point, getting some work on the field," Heupel said. "As we get to the end of the week, we'll know if he'll be available for this one."

Hooker, the redshirt senior transfer from Virginia Tech, was not the starter at quarterback at the beginning of the season. The Volunteers opened the year with Michigan transfer Joe Milton III under center. Midway through the second game against Pittsburgh, Hooker took over the job and has outplayed Milton. 

On the season, Hooker has completed 68.8% of his passes for 1,296 passing yards and 14 touchdowns compared to 255 yards, one touchdown a 46.7 completion percentage for Milton. 

Hooker has also added 390 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. 

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Earlier this week, Nick Saban said Alabama is preparing for both quarterbacks and that the two players have similar skillsets. 

"I don't really think the quarterback situation, regardless of whatever it is, both guys are very capable," Saban said. "They're very similar in style in terms of the way they play. They're big guys, strong arms, accurate passers. And they have the ability to make plays with their feet and run quarterback runs."

Saban has been very complimentary of Tennessee's offense, pointing out that the Volunteers are third in the SEC in points per game at 39.3. 

If it is Milton under center, Heupel still has confidence in him because of the way he prepares and encourages his teammates.

"There's been some things that he's done at a really high level in the pass game and in the run game too," Heupel said about Milton. "There's been times where he hasn't executed the way that he's fully capable of. At that point, that's the growth and maturity and maturation of a quarterback. He's got to continue to grow."

Milton was on the roster for Michigan when the Wolverines faced Alabama in the 2020 Citrus Bowl, but neither Milton or Hooker have taken a snap against Alabama before.