BY MIKE STRANGE
POSTED OCTOBER 22, 2011 AT 12:14 A.M.
1. The Saban Spread: Alabama is a four-touchdown favorite, and that's throwing in a two-point conversion. Welcome to life in the Nick Saban era. Besides 'Bama's 12-10 squeaker in 2009, Saban's other three Crimson Tide teams have beaten the Vols by 31, 20 and 24 points. It's up to Tennessee to prove Vegas wrong.
2. The Fab Four: In Saban's 61 games as Alabama's coach only four opposing backs have rushed for 100 yards. Tennessee's Tauren Poole is one of them, gaining 117 yards last year in Alabama's 41-10 win in Knoxville. Poole had a promising showing last week against LSU. The Vols need him to make it a Fab Five today.
3. Turnovers? Yeah, Right: The best way for an underdog to level the playing field is by producing turnovers. Alabama has gone 50 consecutive offensive possessions without giving up a turnover. In four SEC games, the Tide hasn't turned it over once. Repeat, not once. The Vols, meanwhile, are looking for their first interception since opening day.
4. Snap Shuffle: Alex Bullard makes his first start at center in hopes of addressing an irritating problem of providing Matt Simms with accurate shotgun snaps. He swaps jobs with James Stone, who moved to left guard. Simms is going to have plenty of issues without wondering whether the snap will be at his ankles or his ears.
5. Get Rich: Alabama tailback Trent Richardson is on the Heisman Trophy shortlist and for good reason. He has six consecutive 100-yard rushing games, the longest streak in the nation. The Vols' defense has to load up in the box to make Richardson earn every yard and make Alabama take some shots in the air.
See more about the Tennessee Volunteers at www.GoVolsXtra.com
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