No. 1 Bama heavily favored over traditional rival Tennessee
The Associated Press
Oct. 19, 2017
Tennessee (3-3, 0-3 SEC) at No. 1 Alabama (7-0, 4-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line: Alabama by 34 ½.
Series record: Alabama leads 54-37-8.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
For Alabama, it's another SEC game where anything but a decisive victory would be perceived as a letdown. Tennessee is trying to turn its fortunes around dramatically while perhaps giving a boost to coach Butch Jones' tenuous job security.
Alabama's defense against Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano, making his second career start. The Tide is allowing just 7.8 points per game in SEC games, while Tennessee's offense is averaging just 9.7 against league defenses. Guarantano will have to make some plays because one-dimensional offenses typically don't fare well against Alabama.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tennessee: RB John Kelly. The 5-foot-9, 205-pound workhorse leads the SEC in average yards from scrimmage at 133.7 per game. He'll be going against a defense allowing a nation's best 66.7 yards rushing per game. Kelly and Penn State's Saquon Barkley are the only two Power 5 running backs to lead their teams in both rushing and receptions.
Alabama: LB Rashaan Evans. Evans had two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss against Arkansas. He could get some more pass rushing opportunities if Alabama again applies the pressure to a young quarterback.
FACTS & FIGURES
This is the 100th meeting of the traditional Third Saturday in October rivalry. ... Alabama has won all 10 meetings under coach Nick Saban. Only two of them have been decided by single digits but both of those were at Bryant-Denny Stadium, a 12-10 victory in 2009 and 19-14 two years ago. ... The Tide has won 19 consecutive games against SEC East teams. ... Tennessee hasn't scored a touchdown in 10 quarters. ... The Vols rank second nationally in pass defense, giving up just 129.2 passing yards per game.
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