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Staff Predictions: Tennessee-Alabama

The VR2 staff gives their predictions for the Vols Week 8 matchup against the Tide

Matt

Lot of intrigue with this game. Texas A&M attacked Alabama vertically and had success keeping them off balance. Tennessee is going to have some success, but how will they handle Alabama's rushing attack and Brian Robinson will determine how close this game is.

I do think Tennessee will have some offensive success tonight. Josh Heupel is too good of a player caller, but Alabama's depth and ability to grind Tennessee down late in the game will be the difference in this one, in my opinion.

Alabama 41, Tennessee 21

Jack

Anybody who’s anybody knows that Alabama football is elite, and that while Tennessee has improved tenfold this year over last, the Vols simply aren’t on Alabama’s level.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban will extend his streak against Tennessee to 15-0, and the Vols will fall to .500 on the year for the first time since Week 4. 

Look for the Vols to keep it close early, though. I expect a few orange and white scores in the first half, but a strong second-half showing from the Tide will bury the Vols. 

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Alabama 45, Tennessee 21

Jake

If Hendon Hooker weren’t playing, I would have the same score prediction as Jack. But I think Hooker is able to make a little magic and that Josh Heupel will put the Vols in position for success, at least enough to cover the 25-point spread.

In the end, though, the Tide will pull away late on the back of Brian Robinson and some smart decisions from Bill O’Brien.

Alabama 38, Tennessee 21

Dale

Despite all signs pointing to Hooker being able to play, it's uncertain just at what percent is his health at? Tennessee has shown that the offense can be explosive but much hangs on the availability of Hooker and Evans. Alabama, for much of the season, has shown they can score in multiple ways, and having their depth as they do, they can really take over late in a game. Drives ending without points will definitely be what Tennessee wants to avoid. The Tennessee defense may be a big factor as well in how they play to slow the run game and keep Bryce Young in the pocket added with covering some explosive guys on the perimeter. Tennessee is capable of competing with Alabama, as long as injuries and depth don't become issues early on.

Alabama 42, Tennessee 28