Tennessee and Alabama will meet for the 93rd time in their storied rivalry Saturday night.

The first meeting was in 1901, when the two teams played to a six-all tie.    

For the Vols (2-4, 0-3 SEC), they enter the match-up against the seventh-ranked Crimson Tide (6-1, 2-1 SEC) as more than two touchdown underdogs.

But in the Tennessee-Alabama game, the records can be thrown out the window because of how special the yearly gridiron clash is to players and fans.

“I’m going to tell the team this, what a great honor it’s going to be able to play in games like these,” UT coach Derek Dooley said. “Growing up, you always know about the Third Saturday in October. We screwed that up when we added more teams. But this is always one of the great traditions in college football, Tennessee-Alabama. It’s what makes this place special. It’s what makes the SEC special.”

Although the rivalry is called the Third Saturday in October, it’s now normally played on the fourth Saturday.

Vols senior defensive end Chris Walker was recruited heavily by both Tennessee and Alabama but chose Tennessee and understands what this game means for fans of both schools.

“Being a Tennessee guy, growing up in Tennessee, seeing the rivalry and seeing how much it means to people since I’ve been here, it makes it mean that much more to me,” Walker said. “Losing like we did last year makes that even more important to me this year.”

Last year’s 12-10 loss to the eventual national champion Crimson Tide on a blocked field goal still brings back awful memories for Vols fans. Much like last year, UT will have to focus on Alabama’s running game, led by the duo of last season’s Heisman Trophy-winner Mark Ingram and sophomore Trent Richardson.

“They are great,” Walker said of the Crimson Tide’s running backs. “Just the tandem that they have, when Mark comes in you know that he’s going to be able to take it to the house at any time, and Richardson is a guy you have to have 11 people on him to tackle, because he’s not going to go down very easy. Every play we know that we have to wrap up, and we have to gang tackle them.”

Given the ability of Alabama’s running game, UT’s front seven will face enormous pressure from a Tide offensive line that is among the largest in college football.

“They are going to be the biggest offensive line we are going to play,” Walker said. “They are really athletic up front. They’ve got guys that are really good. I think it’s going to be a really big challenge for us.”

That challenge is even greater with defensive tackle Montori Hughes nowhere near 100 percent. Hughes is listed as questionable for the game, but Dooley said even in the event his best interior lineman plays, his role will be extremely limited because of the ankle injury he suffered against Georgia.

Along with Hughes, offensive linemen JerQuari Schofield and Cody Pope are not expected to play, and kicker Daniel Lincoln is still out, nursing a quad injury.

Besides the injuries, the biggest news from the Vols camp this week was the announcement that the game plan heading into the contest is for quarterback Tyler Bray to enter the game in the first half. Dooley said he hoped the game would allow for the freshman to get his first meaningful snaps as a Vol.

Regardless of who is under center for the Vols, the Tennessee-Alabama game will be hard nosed and smash mouth, much like how it has been over years and the kind of game Walker enjoys playing in.

“I love it because it’s easier for me to play ball when I don’t have to look for all the motions and all the fly sweeps and all the stuff like that,” Walker said. “It’s just you get down, and you have to beat the man in front of you on every play. That’s what their program is about, that’s what we are about, so it’s going to be a real physical game, and a lot of guys are going to be sore after this game, so it’s going to be a good one.”