'Bama begins prep work for Tenn.

The Alabama football team held its first practice of the week on Monday as it begins to prepare for its game with Tennessee with a two-hour session at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields. The Crimson Tide will host the Volunteers on Saturday, October 22, at 6:21 p.m. CT.

"I think that this game coming up is a game that's really important from a tradition standpoint to the University of Alabama," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. "It's important to a lot of people around here. Rivalry games are always games that you have to be ready for. Derek (Dooley) has done a really good job with this team. They have had some misfortune this year in terms of personnel, but they are really doing a good job, I think, with the players that they have in every phase of the game."

This will be the 94th meeting between the Tide and Volunteers. Alabama has won four straight games in the series that dates back to the 1901 season. Overall, the Tide leads the series 47-38-7 and has posted a 25-18-6 record against Tennessee at home.

Earlier in the day, the Southeastern Conference announced that junior running back Trent Richardson was the league's Offensive Player of the Week, marking his second weekly honor from the SEC this season. Richardson led Alabama in its 52-7 victory over Mississippi last week with a career-high 183 rushing yards and four touchdowns. His 76-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Rebels was the longest of his career. Richardson was also recognized as the National Running Back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.

"I really was sort of amazed at not only the ability to make the run, but also the tenacity and toughness that Trent played with the entire game," said Saban of Richardson's 76-yard run. "He'll be the first guy to talk about the offensive line, and probably all of the other yards that he gained. He gained some on his own, but they did a good job blocking those plays. They kind of had us on that play, and he made a great individual effort to make people miss, and that's what great players do. You know they kind of make plays above and beyond. He certainly did that on that occasion."

Saturday's game will air on ESPN2 with Mark Jones calling the play-by-play, Ed Cunningham as the color analyst and Jeannine Edwards on the sidelines.