The Alabama Crimson Tide football team will see familiar faces on the Tennessee Volunteer sideline as they take the field at Neyland Stadium this Saturday. The Tide offense will go head-to-head with a defense coached by former Tide defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri, who joined the Volunteer coaching staff before this season. Tide players will also compete against former teammate Darrington Sentimore, who left the Tide in 2010. Linebacker CJ Mosley said it will be fun to see what his former teammate does on the opposite side of the field. The junior also said it will not be weird to see Sunseri on the opposing team’s sideline.
“I’m going to be too busy trying to stop the offense,” Mosley said. “He was a great coach when he was here. I’m pretty sure he’s doing a great job there, but my job is to focus on the offense and what they’re going to do.”
Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron said he is not concerned about playing former members of the Tide and does not believe it will affect the team.
“You gotta worry about you, how you prepare for the game, what you need to do to win the game,” McCarron said.
Rivalry changes little in practice
The historic Alabama-Tennessee rivalry did not provoke a change in this week’s preparations in practice, Mosley said. The Tide has maintained the practice regimen that has allowed them success so far this year but has faced a more up-tempo pace, Mosley said.
“As a player you’ve gotta be ready for a physical and tough practice because with Tennessee it’s a rivalry,” Mosley said. “Things will start boiling up and you have to be ready for those types of games.”
The Tide is prepared for the intensity of the fan base and the atmosphere they will enter when they take the field this weekend. The players find the atmosphere of the rivalry fun and exciting.
“I like the intensity,” right tackle DJ Fluker said. “That feeds me a little bit. Coach Stoutland always says think of it as being a rock star out there and the crowd going crazy. So it makes it fun for me.”
McCarron ready to play despite injury rumors
Despite rumors that McCarron was suffering from a torn meniscus, he has been present at practice this week. Fluker said the quarterback has been taking practice one day at a time after sustaining a blow during last Saturday’s game against Missouri. The lineman said McCarron has been moving around well and the quarterback’s hard work will allow him to bounce back quickly.
McCarron said he was not worried about the severity of his injury during the game. He listened to the trainers and was ready to get back on the field.
“I don’t like sitting out,” McCarron said. “I had to sit out when I was four from that wave runner wreck. That’s the only year I’ve ever missed. I just don’t like missing plays.”
McCarron said the rumors surrounding his injury, started by a caller on the Paul Finebaum radio show, are false.