Oct. 19, 2009
BY BETH RUCKER
Alabama denied a request by Tennessee to wear its home orange jerseys on the road against the Tide, Volunteers coach Lane Kiffin said Monday evening.
Under a new NCAA rule for 2009, both teams may wear their colored home jerseys if the home team and the home team's conference agree.
Kiffin said the Southeastern Conference approved the Volunteers' request to wear their orange jerseys on the road and that no reason was given by Alabama for denying the request.
"In talking with some people in the offseason about the history here and both teams wearing the home jersey, I thought it would be something that would be really neat for our fans and for their fans," Kiffin said. "We were approved by the SEC, and Alabama denied us that."
A phone message for Alabama athletic director Mal Moore was not immediately returned Monday night.
Kiffin said he's not willing for his team to take a 15-yard penalty after the opening kickoff to go against the Tide's wishes.
"We're not good enough to do that," he said. "The last thing we want to do is kick off 15 yards back."
The rivalry between the two teams, dubbed "The Third Saturday in October" because of the date it's sometimes played, is one of the SEC's most storied.
The teams play annually, and the Crimson Tide (7-0, 4-0 SEC) holds the overall advantage at 38-46-7 and has won the past three meetings after losing 10 of 12 to the Vols.
Wes Brown, a senior defensive tackle for the Vols (3-3, 1-2) from Athens, Ala., said he's just ready to beat the top-ranked Tide.
"We could wear pink, and I'd still be down there ready to go," he said. "This game is special to me, regardless, but wearing that orange jersey is special. Getting to do it in a great rivalry like this, that would have been really special."