Josh Heupel learned very quickly how important the Volunteers’ rivalry matchup against Alabama is.

Heupel snapped a 15-game winning streak by the Tide last season in a thrilling 52-49 win for the Vols. However it goes this season, it’s likely to look a whole lot different.

Both defenses are good, and Tennessee’s offense has really struggled to push the ball downfield in the passing game. Luckily for Tennessee, they have one of the best rushing attacks in the nation.

Heupel was asked about this year’s iteration. Here’s what he had to say:

“I don’t know if there’s anything completely unexpected. It was the first thing that I heard about when I came here. For our fan base, this is one that they point to, a historic rival and obviously always played the same weekend. The passion and pageantry of the game, the excitement that surrounds it is really unique and obviously it’s a big football game. It’s historically had huge importance on SEC races and the ability to put yourself in position to do what you want to in the conference.”

The Vols and Crimson Tide face off at 3:30 this Saturday on CBS.