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The very hot seat of Tennessee coach Derek Dooley might finally explode on Saturday if the Vols are blown out by top-ranked Alabama, which is quite possible.
The Tide are 20-point favorites on Vegassportsbetting.com.
Dooley has never beaten a ranked team at Tennessee and his defense has allowed an average of 43.0 ppg in three losses to ranked clubs this season. Last week, the Vols fell 41-31 to ranked Mississippi State.
UT QB Tyler Bray tried to rally the Volunteers late, but ran out of time. Bray completed 13 of 24 passes for 148 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in one of his least productive games as a starter. Tennessee (3-3, 0-3) lost to Mississippi State for the first time since 1994, snapping a six-game winning streak.
Alabama, which has the nation’s No. 1 scoring defense, thumped Missouri 42-10 last week. Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon gave Alabama a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time this season and the duo combined for five scores.
On the second play from scrimmage, Lacy broke a 73-yard TD run. The Tide scored the game’s first 28 points. AJ McCarron went 16 for 21 for 171 yards, extending his run to 227 passes without a pick.
He bruised a knee in the game but will start vs. Tennessee. The Crimson Tide had a season high 533 total yards and held Missouri to 129 yards — and just 3 yards rushing. Missouri’s TD came on a 98-yard kickoff return from Marcus Murphy.
Saturday’s game marks the 95th all-time meeting between Tennessee and Alabama. UT is 37-49-8 vs. the Tide in the all-time series. Alabama has won the last five consecutive meetings since 2007.
The Vols will attempt to reverse a recent trend in which they have scored 17 or fewer points in the last eight games vs. Alabama and 10 or fewer points in the last four meetings. Alabama has averaged 32 points per game in the last five games vs. the Vols.
UT hasn’t beaten a No. 1 team since defeating No. 1 Auburn, 38-20, at Neyland Stadium on Sept. 28, 1985. Tennessee is 2-9 all-time vs. No. 1-ranked teams, with the last meeting being a 38-7 loss to then-No. 1 LSU on Oct. 15, 2011.
The Vols haven’t beaten any ranked team since beating No. 21 South Carolina, 31-13, on Oct. 31, 2009.
Vegas trends: Crimson Tide are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Tennessee. Crimson Tide are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings. Under is 4-1-1 in the last 6 meetings in Tennessee.
Under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings. Road team is 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 meetings.