This Saturday Tennessee will be taking on yet another ranked SEC opponent. Alabama is the No. 1 ranked team in the country.
The Vols are hoping to deal Alabama its first loss of the season, but head coach Derek Dooley is more concerned with fixing problems within his own team as opposed to the formidable task that lies ahead on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Dooley recognized Alabama as a formidable opponent, and jokingly accused the team of getting the first 25 picks in "the draft" regarding the team's recruiting success.
"They have absolutely annihilated everybody that they have played," Dooley said. "Physically and on the scoreboard. They are deep, they are talented, they just change jersey numbers every year but the guys all look the same."
Despite the uneasiness Dooley may have concerning the highest ranked team in the country coming to town, he is more worried about correcting mistakes within his own program and inspiring his players to compete for the whole game.
"My biggest concern is us, and I mean that," Dooley said. "If we can go out there and play to our capacity for sixty minutes, we can find ourselves right in that position we've been in every week."
The Vols' greatest asset going into this game is once again their aerial passing attack. Headlining this personnel set is wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who last week displayed what an explosive athlete he is by returning a 98-yard kickoff against Mississippi State.
Patterson also added an 11-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter of that game. Dooley was keen on his first year receiver and explained that Patterson needed to become a big part of the Vols' offensive scheme this week against Alabama.
"We have to get the ball in this guy's hands a lot. He has a real special set of skills. So we're going to keep finding ways to get him the ball, we'd be crazy if we didn't," Dooley said.
Also on the offensive side of the ball, Dooley is facing the fact that his leading rusher Rajion Neal, who has made steady improvements in his efficiency against SEC defenses in the past weeks, is listed as "doubtful" for the game with a sprained ankle.
Shouldering the carries against Alabama will be a combination of Devrin Young, Quenshaun Watson and Marlin Lane. However, Young will be the recipient of most of the carries due to his running success in last week's game after Neal exited with the injury.
A Knoxville native, Young is excited for the challenge he will face Saturday as the Vols' feature back.
"(I) feel like we can run against anybody," Young said. "Alabama has a great defense, obviously, but if we execute our game plan it's going to show."
One final variable, which will be in the Vols' favor on Saturday, will be the home field advantage that Neyland Stadium will provide.