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It’s been quite a while since the last time Alabama lost to Tennessee and Tennessee and their fans know it.

This year the Vols have one of the their best teams in a long time and throughout the history of this matchup this Vols team would be a favorite plenty of times, only they happen to be going up against one of the best defenses Alabama has ever had on an Alabama team looking to repeat as National Champions.

This doesn’t mean getting the win Saturday will be easy for Alabama. This is a very good Vols team and Alabama will have to play to their potential to get this win.

Here are three keys to an Alabama victory over Tennessee:

  1. Jump out early. Tennessee has been a notoriously slow starter this season. The Vols have fallen behind repeatedly, sometimes by as many as three scores, but the Vols have found a way to storm back every week and erase those deficits. Alabama needs to jump out early against the Vols and take over the pace and tone of the game.

2. Alabama must play a complete game. Alabama head coach Nick Saban wasn’t a happy                camper against Arkansas even though Alabama got the win. Saban felt his team didn’t                play a full game, which is not an option against Tennessee. Tennessee has fallen                          behind early throughout this season, but every time they have been able to erase those              deficits. Alabama can not take their foot off of the gas Saturday but instead the Tide                    must continue to push the Vols until the very end.

3. Create and take advantage of turnovers. Tennessee turned the ball over seven times                    against Texas A&M in last weeks overtime loss while Alabama’s defense has scored a                  touchdown seven weeks in a row. Alabama needs to take advantage of a Vols team that              at times has struggled with ball security. If Alabama can create turnovers and exploit                  them as they have all season, Tennessee will have a tough hill to climb.