Josh Heupel and Tennessee will play the biggest game in Knoxville in years, if not decades, this week when Alabama rolls in and brings with it the likes of ESPN’s “College GameDay” along with SEC Network’s “SEC Nation” and a 3:30 p.m. ET “SEC on CBS” atmosphere.

At his Monday press conference, Heupel shares the messaging his team will have this week.

“The atmosphere that will be here on Saturday, really excited about that and our players like to get to the point to play a game like this,” Heupel said. “Preparation’s going to critical in this one. Alabama’s really good, offense, defense, special teams, they’ve got really good personnel in all 3 phases of the game. It’ll obviously be a huge test for us, but our players are excited and this morning was good preparation.”

Heupel said the Vols are ready for a great week of practice to play their best football.

“This is why you come to Tennessee and want to be in this league,” he said.

Heupel shared how he’ll handle national talk about the Vols.

“The expectations that we should be concerned about are our own expectations,” he said. “The reason our kids have gotten and continue to build and gotten better is because they’ve paid attention to the things that matter. This week we’ve got to prepare the right way, we’ve got to practice well and the playing part of it will take care of itself.”

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Sports betting in Tennessee officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.