Alabama-Tennessee Preview Capsule

No. 1 Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC) at Tennessee (3-3, 0-3), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Alabama by 20½.

Series Record: Alabama leads 48-38-7.


Alabama is trying to remain atop the AP poll and the BCS standings. An Alabama victory also would set up a potential matchup between unbeaten teams next week when the Tide host No. 15 Mississippi State, which is at home against Middle Tennessee on Saturday. Tennessee is trying to end its recent history of frustration against ranked teams and SEC opponents. The Volunteers have lost 10 of their last 11 conference games and are 0-13 against Top 25 opponents since Derek Dooley took over the program in 2010.


Tennessee passing game against Alabama pass defense: Tennessee QB Tyler Bray has thrown for 1,730 yards and leads the SEC with 16 touchdown passes. His receiving corps includes two probable early-round draft picks in Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson. Alabama leads the nation in pass efficiency defense and is tied for fourth nationally with 11 interceptions. Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner has two interceptions and 12 pass breakups to lead the nation with 2.8 passes defended per game.


ALABAMA: QB A.J. McCarron: The SEC leader in passing efficiency bruised his right knee in a 42-10 victory at Missouri last week and has been wearing a brace in practice. He isn't the only quarterback in this game with an aching knee. Bray has a brace on his left knee after hurting it last week in the Vols' 41-31 loss at Mississippi State. McCarron has thrown 12 touchdown passes without an interception.

TENNESSEE: Patterson: Tennessee is trying to get the ball in Patterson's hands more often. The junior college transfer leads the SEC with 17.8 all-purpose yards per play and ranks second in the conference with 835 all-purpose yards. Patterson has caught 23 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored on a 98-yard kickoff return last week.


Alabama leads the nation in total defense, scoring defense, run defense and pass efficiency defense. ... Alabama, Air Force and Louisiana Tech are the only three Football Bowl Subdivision teams that haven't thrown an interception this season. ... Tennessee is seeking its first victory over a top-ranked team since its 38-20 triumph over Auburn on Sept. 28, 1985. Tennessee owns a 2-9 record against No. 1 teams. ... Tennessee has scored 17 or fewer points in its last eight games against Alabama and hasn't exceeded 10 points in any of the last four games in this series. ... Tennessee has allowed only three sacks all season, while Alabama averages 3.2 sacks per game. ... Alabama safety Vinnie Sunseri's dad is Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri.