The Tennessee-Alabama statistical preview is frightening

Beware, there is a monster at the end of this preview. You've been warned.

A weekly look at our upcoming opponent's recent history, with animated drive charts, links to SB Nation game pages, and statistical comparisons. Caveats.

Wait, what did that headline say? That there's a monster at the end of this preview? I hate monsters. So please, stop reading now.

Schedule and Animated Drive Charts

Alabama Logo
Michigan Wolverines 9/1/12 win 41 - 14 coverage
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 9/8/12 win 35 - 0 coverage
@ Arkansas Razorbacks 9/15/12 win 52 - 0 coverage
Florida Atlantic Owls 9/22/12 win 40 - 7 coverage
Mississippi Rebels 9/29/12 win 33 - 14 coverage
@ Missouri Tigers 10/13/12 win 42 - 10 coverage
Tennessee Logo
@ N.C. State Wolfpack 8/31/12 win 35 - 21 coverage
Georgia State Panthers 9/8/12 win 51 - 13 coverage
Florida Gators 9/15/12 loss 20 - 37 coverage
Akron Zips 9/22/12 win 47 - 26 coverage
@ Georgia Bulldogs 9/29/12 loss 44 - 51 coverage
@ Mississippi St. Bulldogs 10/13/12 loss 31 - 41 coverage

According to the NCAA's "Toughest Schedule" PDF, Tennessee's schedule is currently ranked 14th and Alabama's is 51st. That may be the last thing we're ahead of them in for the rest of this post.

You're still here? Maybe you don't fully understand what I'm saying. If you keep reading, you will eventually get to the end of the preview, and there is a MONSTER at the end of this preview. So STOP.

Here are the drive charts from two of the Tide's SEC games:

FULL SCREEN VERSION

Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.
FULL SCREEN VERSION

Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.

YOU'RE STILL HERE? STOP! WALK AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER! THERE IS A MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS PREVIEW!

National Unit Rankings

OFFENSIVE RANKINGS
Category National
Rank
Actual National
Leader
Actual Conf
Rank
Conf Leader Actual
Rushing Offense 25 217.17 Army 385.17 4 Texas A&M 235.83
Passing Offense 87 205.83 Baylor 398.40 9 Arkansas 311.43
Total Offense 52 423.00 Oklahoma St. 601.40 6 Texas A&M 543.67
Scoring Offense 17 40.50 Louisiana Tech 53.83 3 Texas A&M 47.00
Passing Efficiency 6 171.97 Baylor 177.58 1 Alabama 171.97
Sacks Allowed 77 2.17 Air Force .00 6 Tennessee .50

Offensive observations. Really, this isn't all that scary. Maybe you can go ahead. One more paragraph.

DEFENSIVE RANKINGS
Category National
Rank
Actual National
Leader
Actual Conf
Rank
Conf Leader Actual
Rushing Defense 1 55.33 Alabama 55.33 1 Alabama 55.33
Pass Efficiency Defense 1 80.99 Alabama 80.99 1 Alabama 80.99
Total Defense 1 181.17 Alabama 181.17 1 Alabama 181.17
Scoring Defense 1 7.50 Alabama 7.50 1 Alabama 7.50
Pass Defense 1 125.83 Alabama 125.83 1 Alabama 125.83
Sacks T-11 3.17 Tulsa 4.71 2 South Carolina 3.71
Tackles For Loss 33 6.83 Tulsa 9.86 6 Missouri 8.43

Defensive observations. ACK! MONSTER SCAT! Seriously, is that completely and entirely not fair?

So with that, I'm going to put up a brick wall so you HAVE to stop reading.

Brick_wall_medium

SPECIAL TEAMS AND TURNOVERS RANKINGS
Category National
Rank
Actual National
Leader
Actual Conf
Rank
Conf Leader Actual
Net Punting 52 37.74 Texas A&M 44.71 9 Texas A&M 44.71
Punt Returns 31 11.43 Boston College 31.33 4 Missouri 20.53
Kickoff Returns 7 28.38 Rutgers 38.00 1 Alabama 28.38
Turnover Margin T-1 2.17 Louisiana Tech 2.17 1 Alabama 2.17

Special teams and turnovers observations. Nice going, you, getting through that brick wall and everything, but I can't even read that because I'm disoriented from monster stink.

Players to Watch

Category Player National
Rank
Actual
OFFENSE
Rushing Eddie Lacy 58 81.83
T.J. Yeldon 74 72.67
Passing Efficiency (Min. 15 Att./Game) A.J. McCarron 5 171.88
Total Offense A.J. McCarron 81 189.67
Eddie Lacy 81.83
T.J. Yeldon 72.67
Receptions Per Game Amari Cooper 3.50
Receiving Yards Per Game Amari Cooper 43.83
Scoring Jeremy Shelley T-46 8.50
Eddie Lacy T-96 7.00

Offensive Observations. Listen, just because the offensive players for Alabama are merely efficient and not machete-wielding psychopaths doesn't mean that they're not killing machines. You've seen The Terminator, right?

So stop. Please?

Category Player National
Rank
Actual
DEFENSE
Interceptions DeMarcus Milliner T-36 .40
Deion Belue T-47 .33
Vinnie Sunseri T-47 .33
C.J. Mosley .17
Robert Lester .17
Haha Clinton-Dix .17
Sacks Adrian Hubbard T-64 .58
Ed Stinson T-81 .50
C.J. Mosley .42
Tackles C.J. Mosley T-67 8.50
Tackles For Loss Ed Stinson T-54 1.17
Adrian Hubbard .92

Defense. Constellation, that. So many stars that none of them can get the spotlight.

Category Player National
Rank
Actual
SPECIAL TEAMS
Punting (Min. 3.6 Punts/Game)
Punt Returns (Min. 1.2 Ret./Game) Christion Jones 23 11.67
Kickoff Returns (Min. 1.2 Ret./Game)
Field Goals Jeremy Shelley T-49 1.17
Cade Foster T-89 .67
All-Purpose Runners Eddie Lacy 88.83
T.J. Yeldon 88.33
Christion Jones 87.00

Head to Head Comparisons

Listen, the NEXT section is the end of this preview, and there is a MONSTER at the end of this preview. So don't be a fool. Get up. Walk away. Turn off the computer. However you do it, DON'T KEEP READING.

Tennessee Logo Alabama Logo
Comps
Result Against Comps
Prediction
UT rush v. Alabama rush defense 183.33
(#45)
55.33
(#1)
Florida/NC State
(107.50/114.33)
(#20/#27)
83/191 70
UT pass v. Alabama pass defense 299
(#22)
125.83
(#1)
Florida/MS St.
(189.67/191)
(#22/#23)
257/148 150
Alabama rush v. UT rush defense 178.83
(#81)
217.17
(#25)
Georgia/Florida
(226.50/233.33)
(#19/#14)
274/336 250
Alabama pass v. UT pass defense 251
(#84)
205.83
(#87)
MS St./Florida
(239.33/145)
(#56/#114)
308/219 250
UT scoring offense v. Alabama scoring defense 38
(#24)
7.5
(#1)
Florida/MS St.
(12.33/16.33)
(#6/#17)
20/31 13
Alabama scoring offense v. UT scoring defense 31.50
(#90)
40.50
(#17)
Georgia/MS St.
(41.33/35.33)
(#11/#33)
51/41 45

Again with the caveats: These are informed guesses rather than mathematical calculations. But here's the general analytical framework: We are averaging X in a certain category. The opponent averages Y against that, which is most closely comparable to some identified previous opponent, against whom we did Z. All of that leads to an informed guess labeled as Prediction. And one more time for emphasis: The less data you have, the more sketchy the guess, and the guesses range from ALL CAPS SKETCHY WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS at the beginning of the season to merely lower case sketchy for the last game. We're somewhere in the middle.

So yeah, here's your monster.

But here's where we depart from Grover's telling of the story. Because while the monster is in fact US, we, unlike Grover, are actually kinda frightening, at least our defense is. Not only that, but Elmo's playing the part of Alabama this week, and he's outside the door with a pair of scissors, a roll of duct tape, and bad thoughts.

Semi-Serious but Sketchy Conclusions

  • Tennessee's played a tougher schedule than Alabama, so woo for that.
  • Alabama's offense is good, but it's not exactly elite. They're top 25 in rushing, but near the cellar in passing. Still, they somehow manage to rank in the top 20 in scoring. Efficiency, that.
  • The Tide is off the charts spectacular on defense. First in rushing defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense, scoring defense, and pass defense. That's right, 1st. They stink at sacks and tackles for loss, ranking an embarrassing 11th and 33rd. Yes, you just wet yourself.
  • Prepare for a frustrating evening when the Vols are on offense, but keep in mind that it's not necessarily our offense, but Alabama's defense. They do that to everybody. Go ahead and blame our defense for what happens to them.
  • I have the Tide more than doubling the Vols in yards and winning by more than 30 points.
  • But there's a chance. There's always a chance.

Predictions

  • Alabama 45, Tennessee 13
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