Bits and Bytes: Alabama vs Tennessee
Bits and Bytes for a Thursday.
It’s getting close, isn’t it? Well, if you can’t wait, like I can’t, here are some bits and bytes to hold you over. But, caution. These might give you indigestion and keep you up at night. I recommend orange-tinted glasses for reading this post as a countermeasure.
We’re Vols, and we’ll show up ready to fight like hell. But you’ll get my exaggerative point after reading.
‘Bama ranks 1st in the nation for Total Defense and Pass Efficiency Defense. 4th in the nation in Scoring Defense (about 11.5 points allowed per game).
The only defensive category that the Tide rank in the bottom half of the SEC is Pass Defense (6th).
‘Bama starts 7 seniors on defense.
Alabama’s defensive front seven averages 272 pounds. Tennessee’s defensive front averages 245.
Tide LB Rolando McClain leads his team with 49 tackles.
Alabama’s rankings for the offense are not as powerful, but pretty respectable because of Mark Ingram. The Tide are 3rd in the SEC in Rushing Offense (ninth nationally) and Scoring Offense. Their only weak spot (evident Saturday against South Carolina) is Passing Offense (8th in the SEC; 76th nationally).
In seven games, Tide RB Mark Ingram has 905 rushing yards and 11 TDs.
He has not lost a fumble in the 304 touches of his young career at Alabama.
The Tide are 1st in the SEC in punt returns.
Joel over at RTT had looked at the Alabama drive charts for this season’s games, and the most noticeable characteristic is their favorable drive-starting field position.
Alabama has defeated 3 nationally-ranked teams so far this year.
This is the first time in the history of Tennessee football that the Vols will play the number one team in the nation twice in the same season.
Tennessee’s record against number one teams is 2-7.
A Crimson Tide win on Saturday would give Alabama its first 3-game win streak over Tennessee since ’90-’92.
Check out Scott’s statistical analysis of the Vol-Tide matchup at his site College Football By The Numbers. His prediction is 34-13 Bama.
I’ll check in again on Friday with some pre-game nonsense and my unreliable prediction.
What ever the score, it will be played in perfect weather. Forecast for kickoff is 65 degrees and partly cloudy. It will open with sunlight and long shadows, and close under the lights in Tuscaloosa.