There’s no such thing as a week off in the SEC — well, at least when it comes to college football, that is. In Week 7 of the 2016 college football season, fans will be in store for quite the treat as the Alabama Crimson Tide will take on the Tennessee Volunteers.
There is a ton on the line for this game. This could be a preview of the SEC title game. If Tennessee knocks off Alabama, then the SEC West race opens right up, and the SEC could be in danger when it comes to making the College Football Playoff as a result. If the Volunteers win this epic showdown, then they are not only in the driver’s seat when it comes to making the SEC title game, but they will likely be favored in the rest of their games leading up to that point (side note: Alabama is the last ranked team the Volunteers have on the schedule). If Alabama wins, then the squad will remain the top team in the sport.
Despite the fact that the Vols dropped their first game of the season in Week 6, both squads have rather impressive resumes. The Crimson Tide have knocked off three ranked opponents (USC Trojans, Ole Miss Rebels, and Arkansas Razorbacks) while the Volunteers have taken down two ranked teams (Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs).
After flirting with disaster early and often in 2016, Tennessee finally went down against the Texas A&M Aggies last weekend, and the team is now in serious danger of dropping back-to-back games. With that said, this contest will be played in Knoxville.
Despite the fact that Tennessee is ranked as high as No. 9 and will get this battle at home, Alabama is still the favorite — and it’s not even close. The Crimson Tide being ranked No. 1 in both major polls might have something to do with that.
Nonetheless, this big-stage showdown is still a must-watch. Now that the stage has been completely set, let’s get to the bold predictions.
Joshua Dobbs Is Good For Two Touchdowns, Three Turnovers
If the Vols have any chance of winning this game, Joshua Dobbs has to go off. While he will still lead his team on some scoring drives, he will also have a total of three turnovers.
The Crimson Tide are only giving up 15.8 points per game, which spells doom for Tennessee’s offense. If Dobbs can somehow manage to take good care of the ball, then this could be one of the better games of the season. If not, then it could be over by halftime.
Dobbs might have 14 passing touchdowns in 2016, but he also has eight interceptions.
Jalen Hurts Is Responsible For Five Total Touchdowns
Jalen Hurts has done wonders for Alabama this season… and he is only a freshman. The quarterback has racked up 1,242 passing yards, nine passing touchdowns, 296 rushing yards, and five more scores on the ground. The best part? He only has two interceptions on the year.
Hurts could really send the rest of the SEC (and college football) a message by dropping five total touchdowns on the Volunteers’ defense, and he will do just that.
Keep in mind, Tennessee is giving up 26.7 points per game.
Alabama Takes The Lead Early And Never Looks Back
Tennessee has made a very bad habit of getting behind early in games (by a lot). Until last weekend, this team was able to fight back and win games despite the fact that it fell behind early on. If a team wants to knock off Alabama, it cannot afford to get behind by two scores, let alone one.
The Crimson Tide are a different kind of beast. Not to mention, they are not only a force on defense, but they have also managed to put up 44.8 points per game this season, which is good enough for sixth-best in the country.
If Butch Jones’ team gets behind by double figures in this contest, fans shouldn’t expect another miracle. Not against a Nick Saban-coached team. Especially not against a Nick Saban-coached team that is great on both sides of the ball and seems to be getting better every single week.
[Featured Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]