Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin could have bolted the University of Tennessee in 2009 after only one season, however it seems that he nonetheless has some fond reminiscences of Knoxville.
The Rebels, sitting at 6-0 and No. 9 within the nation to start out their season, are enjoying their very own recreation towards a college from Alabama on Saturday.
Ole Miss is taking up 3-3 Auburn at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi, however Kiffin’s previous crew shouldn’t be removed from his thoughts.
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“If you assume I don’t know that Tennessee is enjoying Alabama, I imply, who doesn’t know that,” Kiffin mentioned Saturday morning on “College Gameday.”
“I don’t know what to say aside from, ‘Hey, let’s go beat the state of Alabama in the present day. Go Vols.’”
Kiffin is nicely conscious of the rivalry between the 2 colleges, having misplaced in heartbreaking vogue in 2009.
Tennessee almost beat Saban for the primary time with Kiffin as head coach, however the Vols had a 44-yard discipline objective try blocked as time expired, and Alabama escaped with a 12-10 win.
Tennessee has not managed to get nearer than Kiffin did in recent times and has misplaced by no less than 22 factors within the final six matchups.
Since Saban joined Alabama in 2007, the Crimson Tide are 15-0 towards Tennessee, a shedding streak that the Volunteers hope to snap on Saturday.
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Tennessee head Josh Heupel has the Vols rolling in his second season on the helm, main Tennessee to its greatest begin for the reason that 2016 season.
It’s the offense that has led the cost for the Volunteers, as quarterback Hendon Hooker has emerged as a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Hooker has thrown for 10 touchdowns and nil interceptions because the Vols lead the nation in yards per recreation (547.8), are seventh within the nation in passing yards per recreation (340.4) and are second within the nation in factors per recreation (48.8).
Much will rely on the well being of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young who missed final week’s recreation towards Texas A&M with a shoulder harm.
While Young’s involvement has remained a game-time resolution, ESPN reported Saturday morning that the reigning Heisman trophy winner is predicted to start out.
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“Bryce has practiced some this week,” Saban mentioned Thursday. “And I feel it comes right down to, ‘Does he really feel, and will we really feel, that he can throw the ball successfully sufficient?’ He’s not going to harm himself by doing it. I simply don’t understand how a lot it’ll damage him if he does it.
“He’s executed it on a restricted foundation. So, that’s the query, and no person goes to know that till Saturday comes. He received’t know, I received’t know, no person will comprehend it. I do know he needs to play, and I do know he thinks he can play, and we’ll see.”
The kickoff between No. 6 Tennessee and No. 3 Alabama is 3:30 p.m. ET.