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Nick Saban praises Tennessee ahead of tough Week 7 matchup

Barkley Truax10/10/22
Article written by:On3 imageBarkley Truax

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Week 7’s heavyweight clash features No. 3 Alabama traveling to Knoxville to battle the white-hot No. 6 Tennessee Volunteers. Ahead of Saturday’s blockbuster matchup, the Crimson Tide head coach raved about the Vols’ offense and discussed the challenge they might pose his defense this weekend.

“We’re gonna play a really good Tennessee team. This game means a lot to a lot of people in Alabama. It’s kind of a rivalry game, and it’s always been an important game for us,” Saban said Monday. “Tennessee’s got an outstanding team. They’re undefeated. Josh [Heupel] has done a really, really good job. They’re probably one of the most explosive offenses, if not the most explosive offense, in the country. … The quarterback, [Hendon] Hooker has really done a nice job of executing their offense.

“He’s one of the leading pass-efficiency guys in the country as well as has the ability to extend plays and make plays with his feet. He’s a very good athlete all the way around and has had an outstanding year.”

Through five games this season, Hooker has completed 70 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,432 yards with ten touchdowns and no interceptions. Hooker is one of three Division I quarterbacks that has yet to throw an interception this season. He also has 45 rushing attempts for 231 yards and three more scores.

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Saban also praised Tennessee’s front seven on defense, noting the aggressiveness Tim Banks’ unit plays with, creating negative plays and are one of the best tackling teams in the SEC. The chemistry the group shows by having a good understanding of what they’re trying to get done on each call.

The Tennessee defense has forced 10 turnovers this season – five interceptions and five fumble recoveries – not to mention 14 collective sacks as a defense, which is tied for fourth in the SEC with Mississippi State.

The Vols and Crimson Tide are set to kick off live from Knoxville this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. live on CBS, and will play host to Week 7’s edition of College GameDay.