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Report: Hendon Hooker will start against Alabama

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Good news.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

It appears Tennessee will have their starting quarterback after all against Alabama tonight. Hendon Hooker has battled back from a leg injury and is set to start tonight, per a couple of reports.

Matt Zenitz reported the news yesterday at On3, and WBIR now says the same.

Hooker left the Ole Miss game in the final moments, forcing Joe Milton to finish the final couple plays. Hooker took over for Milton early in the year, coming in after Milton was hurt against Pittsburgh. That’s really when the light came on for this Tennessee offense. Hooker’s efficiency has put the Vols over the top, leading to blowout wins over South Carolina and Missouri.

How healthy Hooker actually is remains to be seen, however. I wouldn’t expect Heupel to dial up too many rushing attempts for his quarterback tonight.

The report from WBIR also states that Tennessee is “optimistic” that running back Tiyon Evans will be able to go tonight. That will be a big boost to the rushing attack with Jabari Small still recovering from an injury of his own.

Cade and Cooper Mays remain unknowns heading into this one.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET tonight on ESPN.