Josh Dobbs made his college football debut against the Alabama Crimson Tide on October 26. 2013 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

It did not go well.

The Vols lost that game 45-10 in front of well over 100,000 fans. They've lost every rivalry game against Alabama since; in fact, the losing streak to the Tide spans nine games. But for Dobbs, now a senior quarterback and team captain, there's a glimmer of hope he and a no. 9-ranked Team 120 can knock down Alabama this season. Dobbs reflected on how far the football program has come since his debut.

I"t's what we expected to do when we got here, guys like me, Jalen [Reeves-Maybin] and Cam [Sutton] when we committed, that was the goal," Dobbs said Tuesday."Getting Tennessee back to where it should be. We're top 10 and we feel like we can play a lot better, continue to grow and continue to improve as a team."

Dobbs said, despite the strides the team has made over the years, the Vols will have to start strong and finish strong against Alabama, who boasts the nation's longest active winning streak of 18 games. Mental focus was lacking in the Vols recent heartbreak loss to Texas A&M.

The captain knows it can't happen again.

"Every year you come into [this game] and it's one of the most disciplined teams you're going to play," Dobbs said. "You have to have discipline on offense discipline in execution, discipline in your scheme, any details that separate winning and losing in games like this and you've got to be locked in throughout practice."