#1 Alabama Crimson Tide at #9 Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday, October 15, 2016 – 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Neyland Stadium – Knoxville, Tennessee
Opening Line: Alabama -10 1/2
Current Line: Alabama -13 1/2
Opening Total: 60
Current Total: 57 1/2
Opening Money Line: Alabama -500 / Tennessee +400
Current Money Line: Alabama -525 / Tennessee +415
The 6-0 Alabama Crimson Tide travel to the 5-1 Tennessee Volunteers Saturday. Both teams are ranked in the the top ten with Alabama at #1 and Tennessee is #9. The Crimson Tide are 3-0 in the SEC West and a half game behind 4-0 Texas A&M. Tennessee is tied with Florida in the East at 2-1, but the Volunteers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Alabama leads the series 52-38-7 against Tennessee. The Crimson Tide have won 9 straight games in the series including 19-14 in Tuscaloosa. The two teams have met every year since 1928 except 1943 when neither team had a team because of World War II.
Alabama is coached by Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide have a neutral site win over USC 52-6 in Arlington, Texas, home wins over Western Kentucky 38-10, Kent State 48-0 and Kentucky 34-6. Alabama also has road wins at Ole Miss 48-43 and Arkansas 49-30 last week. The Crimson Tide led 14-0 in the first quarter and 35-10 in the second against the Razorbacks. The teams combined for eight turnovers including five by Arkansas. Alabama had two defensive touchdowns including a 100 yard interception return early in the fourth. Alabama was a 14.5 point favorite against Arkansas and the total was 48.5. The Crimson Tide are 4-2 ATS and the total is 3-3 this season.
Tennessee is coached by Butch Jones. While Tennessee is #9 in the polls, the Volunteers have not looked very good in narrow home wins over Appalachian State 20-13 in overtime and Ohio 28-19. Tennessee trailed 21-0 in the first half against Florida but the Volunteers scored 38 straight points and would win 38-28. Tennessee won at Georgia 34-31 on a Hail Mary pass as time expired. The Volunteers also have a win over Virginia Tech 45-24 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Tennessee lost their first game of the season at Texas A&M 45-38 in double overtime last week. Texas A&M led 28-7 in the first half. Tennessee nearly overcame a double digit deficit for the third straight week as they tied it up at 35 on a field goal in the last minute of the game. Both teams exchanged field goals in the first overtime. After the Aggies scored a touchdown in the second overtime, the gamer ended with a Tennessee interception. It was the seventh turnover of the game for Tennessee. The Volunteers were 7.5 point underdogs and the total was 60.5. Tennessee is 3-3 ATS and the total is 4-2 this season.
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Alabama is outscoring teams 45-16 this season. Alabama is #6 in scoring and #11 in points allowed nationally. The Crimson Tide average 490 yards per game on offense including 253 passing and 237 rushing yards. Alabama is in the top 25 nationally in total and rushing offense. Alabama is allowing 293 yards per game on defense including 223 passing and 70 rushing. The Crimson Tide are #12 in total offense and #1 against the rush nationally. The Crimson Tide are +5 in turnovers with 13 takeaways. Alabama averages 52 penalty yards per game and opponents average 34 per game. The Crimson Tide is 46/91 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 33/103. Alabama has forced 24 sacks and allowed 10 this season. The Crimson Tide are 25/27 scoring in the red zone with 19 touchdowns, and opponents are 10/13 with four touchdowns.n Alabama has scored a defensive or special teams touchdown in 12 straight games.
True freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts has thrown for 1,242 yards with 9 touchdowns and two interceptions, and has 62 carries for 296 yards with 5 touchdowns. Blake Barnett took a few snaps and has thrown for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns. He left the program and transferred though. Cooper Bateman could also see a few snaps.
Running back Damien Harris has 55 carries for 478 yards and a touchdown and also has 7 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Joshua Jacobs has 37 catches for 307 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 5 catches for 77 yards. B.J. Emmons has 26 carries for 135 yards and a touchdown. Bo Scarbrough has 38 carries for 164 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Receiver Calvin Ridley has 34 catches for 412 yards and 4 touchdowns plus a rushing touchdown. ArDarius Stewart has 18 catches for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 3 carries for 29 rushing yards. Gehrig Dieter has 8 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown. Tight end O.J. Howard has 13 catches for 186 yards and a touchdown.
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Tennessee is outscoring teams 34-27 this season. The Volunteers average 432 total yards per game on offense including 240 passing and 193 rushing yards. Tennessee allows 399 yards per game on defense including 216 passing and 183 rushing yards. The Volunteers are -3 in turnovers with 13 takeaways. Tennessee averages 60 penalty yards per game and opponents average 55 per game. The Volunteers are 41/97 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 35/100. Tennessee has forced 9 sacks and allowed 14 this season. The Volunteers are 23/26 scoring in the red zone with 19 touchdowns and opponents are 21/23 with 15 touchdowns.
Quarterback Joshua Dobbs has thrown for 1,433 yards with 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, and has 82 carries for 324 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Running back Jalen Hurd has 101 carries for 407 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also has 7 catches for 82 yards with 2 touchdowns. He is probable after missing last week with a concussion. Alvin Kamara has 56 carries for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns, and 20 catches for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns. John Kelly has 16 carries for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Receiver Josh Malone has 17 catches for 341 yards and 5 touchdowns. Jauan Jennings has 17 catches for 281 yards and 3 touchdowns. Preston Williams has 9 catches for 89 yards. Jason Croom, Tyler Byrd and Ethan Wolf will also get some catches. Five defensive players are out with injuries.
Alabama is 5-1 ATS after gaining more than 450 total yards, 9-2 against teams with winning records, 4-1 after scoring 40 points or more, 7-2 against teams with winning home records, and in road games, 6-2 on grass, 5-2 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 9-4 overall, 15-7 in October, and 1-4 after a cover. The road team is 15-5-1 ATS in this series recently. The Crimson Tide are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 against the Volunteers, including 6-1 in Knoxville.
Tennessee is 4-0 ATS after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 7-1 against teams with winning records, 4-1 in SEC games and October, 6-2 after a straight up loss, 5-2 after gaining 450 total yards or more, 7-19-1 after a cover and against teams with winning road records, and 3-13 after passing for 280 yards or more.
Tennessee was playing with fire by getting down by double digit points early, and it finally burned them last week against Texas A&M. If Tennessee turns the ball over seven times against Alabama, they will get destroyed playing in Knoxville or not. I like Alabama to win but it will be close.