The third Saturday in October. Fans throughout the south know exactly what this means when they hear it.
Tennessee vs. Alabama.
One of the most storied and heated rivalries in the Southeastern Conference.
Although, over the past several seasons, Alabama has owned this series. Many think this season will be more or the same considering how well the Tide are rolling this season.
It's hard to argue the point because Alabama has dominated every team it has played this season. In facing Tennessee, however, it faces the most dynamic offense it has played this season.
This game will be the classic strength against strength game. The Vols offense against the vaunted Tide defense.
If Tennessee is going to upset Alabama, everything will have to go its way.
The most dynamic player on the field this season for Tennessee has been Cordarrelle Patterson. Every time he touches the ball, he has the chance to go the distance.
Patterson, on the season, has touchdowns receiving, rushing and on a kick return.
Considering this, the times he touches the ball should be through the roof; oddly enough, however, they are not.
So far this season, he has 11 rushes for 214 yards and 23 catches for 315. Far too few touches for the best player on the field.
Patterson is one of those players that has a nose for the end zone.
Upping the number and ways he gets the ball will help the offense immensely. It will also cause the Alabama defense to key in on him, opening up the other playmakers on this team.
This is a topic that has been discussed over and over again when it comes to this season's Tennessee Volunteers.
It also has been said over and over again that it takes time for the 3-4 defense to come together.
There have also been questions this week about whether players have full bought into the defensive scheme. If this is the case, and at this point in the season, this is a cocktail for disaster.
The Tide have the ability to score at will, as they have shown the entire season. If the defensive breakdowns continue to happen, it could be a very long day for Tennessee.
They made strides last week against Mississippi State by limiting the number of big plays.
If the Vols are going to have any chance to upset the top rated team in the country, it will all have to come together.
Tyler Bray is still looking for a signature performance to cement his status as an elite-level quarterback. Thus far in his career, he has not fared very well in these high-profile games.
To go along with what the defense needs to do in the upset bid, Bray will have to be near perfect on his end to assist in this.
Everyone knows that he can sling the ball with the best of them, but this is not the area he needs the be his best in.
What he will need to do is use all receivers at his disposal, check down and dump the ball off.
Bray will also to resist the urge to force the ball into tight spaces, the Alabama defense is just too good for him to even attempt this.
With starting running back Raijon Neal questionable for this week's game with an ankle injury, it will be imperative that his backups carry the load in this game.
For the Vols, the running attack is critical. They must have it to keep the Tide off-balance and to allow the passing game to work.
With Lane coming off an injury himself, a bulk of the work will go to Young and the freshman Watson. Both backs did an excellent job in spelling Neal against Mississippi State, save for the fumble by Young.
The key to this will be for Tennessee to rush for at least 100 yards in this game.
It also wouldn't hurt to get Pig Howard a few more snaps in the wildcat package.
Offensively, Tennessee has all the tools to possibly upset Alabama. Of course, the Tide are considered and look to be the best team in the nation.
The skill is there, but the Vols will need luck, and most of the breaks need to go their way.
It also wouldn't hurt to ask for a little divine intervention here.