NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The “Third Saturday in October” has arrived, which means it’s time for one of college football’s biggest rivalry games.
Many Volunteer fans are still rejoicing after the University of Tennessee snapped a 15-game losing streak to the University of Alabama last year.
A reported 102,000 fans were in the stands as a 40-yard field goal secured a 52-49 Tennessee victory over Alabama, which led to fans ripping down the field goal posts in celebration.
As the annual rivalry game approaches, college football fans nationwide are wondering if the Volunteers can pull off another win against the Crimson Tide.
How many times has Tennessee beat Alabama in the past 20 years?
In the past 20 years, Tennessee has beat Alabama a total of four times. Phillip Fulmer led the team to a 51-43 win in 2003 during a game that went into overtime five times. The next year, Fulmer led the Volunteers to another 17-13 win over Alabama.
The two-game winning streak ended in 2005, but in 2006 UT secured another win under Fulmer’s leadership. The game was close, with a final score of 16-13.
However, the next 15-years brought back-to-back wins for an Alabama football team that was led by Coach Nick Saban.
Then, in 2022, Tennessee’s offense proved to be too tough for the Crimson Tide. Five touchdowns by quarterback Hendon Hooker, and a last-minute field goal made by Chase McGrath, broke the losing curse. The 52-49 win brought down the goal posts, but brought smiles to thousands of Tennessee fans in Neyland Stadium.
Tennessee vs. Alabama History
The team first faced each other in November 1901, which ended in a tie (6-6). Since then, there have been 105 games played between the two. Alabama leads the series with 59 wins compared to Tennessee’s 39.
The rivals first seven series took place in Birmingham, Alabama. Since then, the teams have alternated between playing in Tuscaloosa at Bryant-Denny Stadium or in Knoxville at Neyland Stadium. The last meeting at Birmingham’s Legion Field took place on Oct. 18, 1997. UT won that game 38-21, it was also Peyton Manning’s final matchup against Alabama.
Longest losing streak
From 2007 to 2021, Tennessee found itself unable to beat Saban and the Crimson Tide. As 15 years rolled by — and the losses continued to stack up — Tennessee was finally able to rid the curse in 2022 under Coach Josh Heupel.
A lot of eyes will be on the Tennessee team this weekend to see if they turn the 2022 win into a two-year winning streak.
The 2023 Tennessee-Alabama showdown will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 21 and will be broadcast live on CBS.