Vols Set For Showdown With 2nd-Ranked Alabama

Friday, October 23, 2020

Tennessee will look to end its two-game skid this Saturday afternoon when the Vols host SEC rival Alabama at Neyland Stadium.  

Saturday's contest between the Vols and second-ranked Crimson Tide will mark the 103rd meeting between the two storied programs.

Tickets for Saturday's game are sold out.

Gates open to the public two hours prior to kickoff at 1:30 p.m.


Saturday's game will be televised nationally on CBS with Brad Nessler (PxP), Gary Danielson (analyst) and Jamie Erdahl (sideline) on the call. Kickoff is slated for 3:39 p.m. ET.

Fans can also listen to Tennessee's official radio broadcast on the Vol Network (WIVK-FM 107.7/WNML-FM 99.1) and satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 133, XM Ch. 191, Internet Ch. 962).

Bob Kesling (PxP), Tim Priest (analyst) and Brent Hubbs (analyst) will call the action, with Kasey Funderburg handling sideline duties. The "Kickoff Call-In Show" begins at 2 p.m.

John Sadak and Derek Rackley will also call the game for Westwood One national radio.


Gameday Health & Safety Measures
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, numerous procedures and protocols have been put in place for Tennessee football home games at Neyland Stadium. Relying on the expertise of public health authorities, the state of Tennessee, appropriate university and government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are implementing a number of new initiatives on Tennessee football gamedays this fall. The well-being of our student-athletes, fans and staff are our top priorities and guide our decisions.
Stadium capacity will be limited to no more than 25% and capacity will also be limited in all merchandise shops. Merchandise stores and stands will only be accepting credit cards for payment. Cash will not be accepted. 

Face coverings (over the nose and mouth) are required for all guests as they enter, exit and move around Neyland Stadium, as well as any time guests are unable to maintain the recommended physical distance from others who are not in their same household.

Physical distancing measures have been put in place, including physically distanced line queues, marked barriers and social distancing reminders. A significant number of hand washing opportunities, including hand sanitizers and portable hand-washing stations have been added inside Neyland Stadium. Additional cleaning and sanitization measures have been implemented. This includes high touch-point areas being cleaned more frequently and providing additional hand-sanitizing locations.

The Fourth Saturday in October
Tennessee's annual cross-division rivalry game against Alabama is usually played on the "Third Saturday in October". However, due to the revised schedule this season, the Vols and Tide will meet on the fourth Saturday in October this year, marking the first time the two teams haven't played on their traditional weekend since 2015 (game played on Oct. 24). The two programs will meet for the 103rd time on Saturday.

To'o To'o Leading the Defense
After a freshman All-America campaign last season, sophomore Henry To'o To'o is playing as well as any linebacker in the SEC in 2020. The Sacramento, California, native leads the team in tackles with 31, including a career-best 11 at No. 3 Georgia two weeks ago. He ranks 12th in the SEC in tackles and has produced 5.0 tackles for loss, which is tied for second in the conference.
In the season-opening win at South Carolina, he recorded his first career interception and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown. He is one of five FBS linebackers with a pick six this season. To'o To'o ranked second among SEC freshmen last season with 72 tackles, a mark that also ranked fourth nationally among FBS freshmen.
Gray Shining as a Sophomore
Sophomore running back Eric Gray has proven to be one of the top backs in the country over the last six games. The 2020 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl MVP, Gray has produced seven touchdowns (6 rush, 1 receiving) and 630 yards rushing in the last six contests. He's tallied two 100-yard games this season, including a season-high 128 yards on 24 carries last Saturday against Kentucky.
Gray ranks sixth in the SEC in total rushing yards this season with 298, and he is seventh in the league in rushing yards per game at 74.5. The Memphis native has three career 100-yard rushing games and is averaging 105.0 yards per game on the ground over his last six games dating back to 2019.
Defense Doing Its Part
Tennessee is giving up 362.0 yards per game defensively, which ranks fifth in the SEC, and the Vols boast the second-best pass defense in the league at 213.2 yards per game. UT has surrendered the fewest passing touchdowns in the conference this season with four, and have recovered four fumbles, which ranks second in the SEC. UT is also tied for first in the league with 24.0 tackles for loss and has scored two defensive touchdowns this season, which is tied for third nationally.
Crimson Tide lead series, 57-38-7
Tennessee will look to spring the upset and snap a 13-game losing streak to Alabama on Saturday afternoon. The Vols' last win over the Crimson Tide was a 16-13 victory in Knoxville on Oct. 21, 2006. A Tennessee win would also snap Alabama's 93-game win streak against unranked opponents.

The Vols hung tough with the top-ranked Tide in Tuscaloosa last season despite losing 35-13. The Big Orange held Alabama's high-powered offense to season lows in points (35), passing yards (233) and total yards (373).


The Crimson Tide have been one the most impressive teams in the country this season thanks to a high-powered offense that leads the SEC and ranks fifth nationally in total offense (561.3 ypg). Alabama also leads the league and ranks second in the country in scoring offense (48.5 ppg) and passing offense (393.0 ypg).

Redshirt junior QB Mac Jones has put up huge numbers so far this season. The Florida native leads the conference and ranks second in the nation in passing yards per game (379.5) after throwing for more than 400 yards in each of the past three games. Jones' 12 passing touchdowns are second in the SEC and seventh nationally. Wide receivers Jaylen Waddle (139.3) and DeVonta Smith (120.8) both rank in the top 10 nationally in receiving yards per game, coming in at fourth and seventh, respectively. Senior RB Najee Harris enters Saturday's contest as the SEC's leading rusher at 124.8 yards per game and leads Alabama with 11 touchdowns this season.

While extremely talented, Alabama has had some subpar performances defensively this season, ranking seventh in the conference in scoring defense (28.8 ppg) entering the weekend. Senior LB Dylan Moses leads the team with 37 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss. Freshman DB Malachi Moore is tied for the team lead with two interceptions and three pass breakups.

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