ESPN.com college football writer Chris Low joins WBIR 10Sports Executive Producer Patrick Murray to preview the No. 9 Tennessee vs. No. 1 Alabama matchup.
Murray: "Chris, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, Tennessee is not healthy at all, how does that affect them going into this game?"
Low: "I give Bob Shoop all the credit in the world. He's continued to keep that defense playing at a high level without a lot of his top bullets. Now, this week we know Danny O'Brien isn't going to play, we're not sure about Darrin Kirkland, he's a game time decision, other guys are banged up. I think what we have seen so far though is he has been good enough, and the players have been good enough to step up and play big roles. You hate to be so short handed against a team like Alabama,and I think that's the thing, at this point in the season, guys have had to play more snaps than they wanted to, you go up against a team with the depth of Alabama and the play making ability of Alabama, then it becomes a lot more difficult."
Murray: "Now on the offensive side of the ball, Tennessee will get Jalen Hurd back for the Alabama game, Alvin Kamara obviously an outstanding game, one of the best games for a running back in the past 20 years, statistically speaking, against A&M. What does Tennessee do there in terms of splitting the carries? And even John Kelly showed he can be productive when he was in the game against A&M."
Low: "Boy, I'll tell you its a good problem to have, and I know a lot of people worry about how you split the carries and is there enough footballs to go around. I'll say this, going into that game, I knew Kamara would show up and play well, I didn't know he would gain 312 yards. I talked to many coaches and scouts before the season, Patrick, who said, and this is not to diss Jalen Hurd. Jalen Hurd is a terrific football player, but that Kamara was the guy on Tennessee's team that really scared them. How explosive he was, he's so great at changing directions. I spent about an hour with John Chavis on Sunday after the game, Texas A&M's defensive coordinator, who said, 'we had him hemmed up time and time again, we just couldn't tackle the guy.' I think that's what defensive coordinators are scared of, so I think its going to work out just fine, Tennessee will find a way that they complement each other, because they do complement each other well, Hurd and Kamara, but I think without a doubt, Tennessee is going to look to get Alvin Kamara as many touches as possible because he is the guy that puts pressure on a defense."
Murray: "Now looking at Alabama, they have the defense, they've always got the defense, but Butch Jones says this is the best Alabama team that he's faced, he thinks, what do you think?"
Low: "I don't know, I mean they're always good. I don't think you ever see what you would call a bad Alabama team, maybe besides that first season that Saban was there. They're not as good on the offensive line as they have been, I'd say that. They're deep and they're fast on defense. I was there for a whole day in August, coach Saban let me come in and spend some time around the program, he said then that's the fastest defense he thinks he's had, and I agree with him, they've got the speed to get to the quarterback, the speed to chase sideline to sideline, so those things I think I would agree with Coach Jones about, but I think on their offensive line, that's an area where if Tennessee plays well up front, Bob Shoop schemes them up, which he always does, then I think that's an area where Tennessee maybe could exploit a little bit, that Alabama offensive line."