Vols may be left with Small chance to knock off Alabama

Tennessee Athletics photo / Tennessee sophomore running back Jabari Small had 21 rushes for 92 yards and a touchdown during this past Saturday's 31-26 loss to Ole Miss inside Neyland Stadium.

Ending 14 seasons of futility against Alabama will be no Small assignment for Tennessee first-year football coach Josh Heupel.

The Volunteers not only lost 31-26 to Ole Miss this past Saturday night inside Neyland Stadium but may travel to Tuscaloosa without the services of starting quarterback Hendon Hooker, leading rusher Tiyon Evans and veteran right tackle Cade Mays. Heupel labeled all three with the vague "day-to-day" during his Monday news conference, adding that he didn't think Hooker's leg would be a "long-term injury."

Given the erratic play of former starting quarterback Joe Milton, the Vols may be developing an offensive plan around sophomore running back Jabari Small. The 5-foot-11, 206-pounder out of Briarcrest Christian in Memphis rushed 21 times for 92 yards (4.4 per carry) and a touchdown against the Rebels.