KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Following the eventful loss to Ole Miss, the Vols turn its attention to No. 4 Alabama, a team they haven’t beaten since 2006.

Quarterback Hendon Hooker has played a huge part in Tennessee’s offensive success and has made tremendous strides this season. He’s put numbers in the passing game and on the ground ever since he took the reigns. Against the Rebels, Hooker tallied 233 yards in the air and 108 on the ground.

Vols coach Josh Heupel is impressed with his starting quarterback, “I think his understanding of what we’re doing. His preparation has been really good, so he’s had the ability to grow each and every week. He’s playing with more confidence as he’s gone through that. A part of that though was the growth of the other guys around him to continue to get better.”

Unfortunately for the Vols, Hooker is one of many players who are injured at the moment, and according to Heupel is listed as day-to-day, “Hendon, Tiyon, and Cade are all probably day-to-day at this point. We’ll see as the week unfolds.”

Heupel added he’s impressed with the team’s heart and effort despite the lack of depth due to injuries. He’s set to address the media again on Thursday before the Third Saturday in October matchup with the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, but usually, players’ availability for games isn’t determined until the Friday prior.

Will it be Hooker, Joe Milton III or someone else leading the Vols’ offense against the Tide? Only time will tell. The kickoff for Saturday’s rivalry game is set for 7 p.m.

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