Alabama vs Tennessee Live: No. 1 Alabama dispatched another former Nick Saban assistant, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher, last week and the latest underling-turned-rival gets his crack when Pruitt and his Tennessee Volunteers visit Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night.
Two lengthy streaks are on the line: Former Saban assistants have come to bat against him 18 times and all have whiffed; the Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) also has won a dozen straight in this traditional interstate rivalry.
So Pruitt is representing the Volunteers (2-4, 1-2), but also in a way all the ex-Saban assistants turned head coaches. The Tide coach has already faced two this season in Fisher and South Carolina’s Will Muschamp and neither mustered much of a challenge.
That’s just a minor subplot in this one.
“This is the rivalry, this is the game,” said Pruitt, a former Alabama player and assistant.
Alabama is a 34-point favorite to extend both streaks. Saban says this sort of rivalry game is part of every player’s legacy.
“I think that our players need to know that (the) first thing they’re going to get asked 20 years from now is, what was your record against Tennessee?” he said. “And the next thing you’re going to get asked is, what was your record against Auburn? So those games are big games to our fans.”
The Tide has its sights set on another SEC and national title shot. The Volunteers are “a team on the rise,” according to Saban. They’re coming off a 20-10 win over Mississippi State and aiming to turn the season around after a rough start.
Here are some other things to look for in the Tennessee-Alabama game: