No. 1-ranked Alabama’s Week 8 road game against Tennessee on Saturday, Oct. 20, will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT and will air on CBS, the Southeastern Conference announced on Monday.
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) October 8, 2018
Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Jamie Erdahl will be on the call from Neyland Stadium.
The Volunteers have posted a 2-3 (0-2 SEC) record to begin their season. Tennessee lost its first game of the season to undefeated West Virginia, 40-14, and then won its next two games against East Tennessee State and UTEP before dropping the next two games to now-No. 14 Florida, 47-21, and most recently to No. 2 Georgia by a score of 38-12 two weekends ago.
Alabama and Tennessee will meet for the 101st time in series history in two weeks in the rivalry known as the Third Saturday in October. The Crimson Tide owns the all-time advantage 52-38-7 after vacations and has defeated the Vols 11 straight times, winning the most recent meeting between the two, 45-17, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. This year’s game will be played in Knoxville, Tenn.
Tennessee ended its 2017 season with a 4-8 (0-8 SEC) record and parted ways with head coach Butch Jones before the season ended. After five years at UT, Jones is now an analyst at Alabama. The Vols then hired former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to take over their reeling football program, which returned 13 starters (6 offense, 7 defense) in 2018.
Filling roles as a player, staffer and assistant coach, Pruitt has had multiple stints at Alabama, including as a graduate assistant in 1997, as a director of player personnel from 2007-09, as a defensive backs coach from 2010-12 and as a defensive coordinator from 2016-17.
Ever since he took the Tennessee job, Pruitt has been appreciative of working under Nick Saban.
“I don’t think there is anything that’s tough about it,” Pruitt said during a summer radio interview. “The one thing about Coach Saban is everybody’s role in the building is defined. He has a standard that he wants everyone to excel to, and he sets the pace. He’s not one of these guys that’s going to ask you to do something that he’s not willing to do himself.
“I had an opportunity to work for him for eight years and learn so much about organization and football itself. I could sit here and talk for a week about the things that I learned from him, and I’m very thankful for the opportunity that he gave me.”
This week, the Crimson Tide will host Missouri at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff for Alabama’s Homecoming game is set for 6 p.m. and will broadcast live on ESPN. The Volunteers will be on the road this weekend at No. 21 Auburn for an 11 a.m. kickoff on the SEC Network.
Contact Charlie Potter by 247Sports’ personal messaging or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).
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