It is time for this week’s edition of 90/50/10.
Tomorrow, your Tennessee Volunteers will face off against Alabama on The Third Saturday in October. Surprisingly, this year the game will actually be played on the third Saturday in October.
90%: Tua Tagovailoa passes for over 300 yards
This season, Tagovailoa has been on fire to say the least. Through seven games, the Hawaii native has thrown for 1,760 yards and 21 touchdowns with a completion percentage of 71.5. What makes this even more impressive is he has yet to throw an interception. And perhaps even more impressive than that is the fact that he has yet to throw a pass in the fourth quarter of a game this year. That is how good Alabama is, they don’t even need its Heisman-favorite quarterback for a 1/4th of the game.
While Tennessee’s secondary has been pretty good, there are still some holes that can be exploited by opponents. Many times this year we have seen Tennessee’s safeties out of position, especially when it comes to the deep ball. Unfortunately for the Vols, Alabama are masters at throwing the deep ball. I fully expect Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley to target Nigel Warrior and Micah Abernathy in hopes of getting some easy points.
What makes this Alabama passing attack truly world-class is its skill at the receiver position. This star-studded group is led by sophomore Jerry Jeudy who currently has the sixth-most receiving yards in the country at 705. But the impressive numbers don’t stop there. The Crimson Tide have five receivers with more than 300 receiving yards, compared to Tennessee who have no receivers over 300 yards. This group as a whole has combined for 27 touchdowns. After looking at the Alabama receivers, it is quite easy to see how Tagovailoa has been so successful.
50%: Tennessee scores more than three touchdowns
Even though all the attention has been on the Alabama offense, the Crimson Tide still have a stout defense. They currently are ranked 16th in the nation in total defense, only allowing an average of 315 yards per game. What makes them even scarier is that fact that they average 3.29 sacks per game. It will certainly be an uphill battle for Tennessee and its offensive line.
Despite the Vols’ impressive offensive showing last weekend against Auburn, they will face a completely different beast against Alabama. It will be quite hard to replicate the passing attack from last week given that Alabama’s pass defense is much better than Auburn’s. If the Vols want to move the ball down the field, offensive coordinator Tyson Helton will need to adjust his play calling. That means he will actually have to call a passing play on first down. Scary, I know.
A possible weakness to exploit on this Alabama defense is its run defense. The Crimson Tide have given up 125 YPG on the ground which is abysmal for Alabama standards. With Ty Chandler on fire, feeding him the ball might just put a couple points on the board.
10%: The Vols pick up a win
Okay, I know I said the same thing last week against Auburn, but this Alabama team is truly a different beast. If they continue at their current pace, they will no doubt go down as one of the most dominant college football teams of all time. To have that type of elite talent and ability on both sides of the ball is very rare.
For the Vols to pick up a win, they would need to not only match their performance from last week, but also have a few things go there way. Mainly, it would require Tagovailoa to be out of the game with his lingering knee injury. Tennessee would also need a few calls to go their way and to not turn the ball over. I just don’t see it happening.
Final score prediction: Alabama 45 – Tennessee 21