Tennessee RB John Kelly didn’t get to play much when the Vols lost to Alabama 49-10 last season, recording only three carries for eight yards.

This year, he’s sure to receive a lot more work, as he’s the focus of the Tennessee offense.

Ahead of Saturday’s big SEC East-West matchup, Kelly told 247Sports.com that he’s excited for the challenge, but knows it’ll be tough to run on the No. 1 Crimson Tide’s defense:

“I haven’t gotten a chance to really play against them yet, so I really don’t know, but I think that they’ve got some really talented guys, some really big bodies on that defense,” Kelly said. “I think Minkah Fitzpatrick stands out a lot to me. He’s really versatile for their defense. I’ve seen him line up at the corner spot, at safety, at linebacker. He’s definitely a really versatile player for them.

“They’re really good. They’re a really disciplined defense, and I think they’re gonna be a good challenge for us.”

Alabama has won the last 10 matchups between the two schools, and with the programs trending in opposite directions, that’s likely to continue on Saturday.

However, with a player like Kelly, you can’t rule the Vols out just yet. See if Kelly can keep Tennessee in the game on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Central time on CBS.