Tennessee-Alabama: Can the Volunteers Knock Off the Tide?

Dusty FloydCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2008

Many people do not think anything of the Volunteers this year. Tennessee has not played the way they should be playing at all. However, they have a chance to make up for the whole season by knocking off number two Alabama this weekend.

Alabama had better be ready for this one, because Tennessee may be a young team, but they are very physical.

Their strength is their secondary as they lead the nation with 14 interceptions. All-American safety Eric Berry leads the way with five interceptions, and on every pick he makes he has a chance to return it all the way.

After a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown last week against Mississippi State, he became the SEC's all-time leader in interception return yardage. He's only halfway through his sophomore season!

If John Parker Wilson can avoid throwing any interceptions, then the Crimson Tide have a much better chance to win this game.

Tennessee is pretty good at stopping the run, and they will have to back that trend up, because Alabama has the eighth-best rushing game in the country.

Glen Coffee and Mark Ingram seem to be the next Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Don't forget about Roy Upchurch though, as he averages 5.9 yards per carry.

The one problem for Tennessee is their offense. After the benching of Jonathan Crompton, Nick Stephens has showed better poise in the pocket, but it doesn't show in his stats. A sub-50 percent pass completion percentage just won't get the job done against Alabama.

The Volunteers just have to stay with the Crimson Tide in the fourth quarter, and maybe the 105,000 screaming fans in Neyland Stadium can help them pull off a season-changing upset.