KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — “I think the rivalry between Tennessee and Alabama is one of the old great rivalries in college football, it goes back a long way. I know it means a lot to a lot of people,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said.

Saban said this rivalry goes back a long way, 120 years to be exact; the first game was in 1901.

Back in the 90s, Tennessee controlled the Crimson Tide, in fact, they won 11 out of 12 matchups from 95-06. Since then, the Tide have maintained their control in the series. They’ve won 14 straight, but Saban said this Tennessee team seems different.

Josh Heupel has done a really good job at Tennessee. Their team is playing really well, they’re explosive on offense, they make a lot of big plays, they run the ball very effectively,” he said.

The Vols will need every bit of that offense Saban was so complimentary of to get going right out of the gate for the Third Saturday in October matchup. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Tuscaloosa and the game will be aired on ESPN.