Three Things You Need to Know about Tennessee
One of the SEC’s cornerstone rivalries is closing in as top ranked Alabama hosts the Tennessee Volunteers on the third Saturday in October.
The 2017 season marks a special milestone in the rivalry as Alabama and Tennessee will meet for the 100th time in series history. Coming into the weekend, the Crimson Tide holds a 54-38-7 series lead and has taken 10 in a row from the Volunteers.
A win for Alabama would tie the record for the longest winning streak in series history set from 1971-1981 when Paul “Bear” Bryant took 11 in a row from Tennessee.
The Vols are 3-3 overall and have lost all three of their games in the SEC while Alabama is 7-0 overall and 4-0 in conference play.
Prior to Saturday’s clash in Bryant-Denny Stadium, find out three things you need to know about Tennessee.
Inability to Score Touchdowns
The most notable issue for Tennessee entering this week is their inability to score touchdowns.
The Vols have failed to score a touchdown on offense in their last 10 quarters. The most recent touchdown on offense came via an eight-yard scoring pass from Quinten Dormady to wide receiver Tyler Bird.
In SEC play, Tennessee has scored a combined two touchdowns in contests against Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
In addition to their touchdown futility, Butch Jones’ squad has failed to sustain a consistent offense for most of the season.
Since scoring 42 points in wins over Georgia Tech and Indiana State, Tennessee has scored a total of 46 points in their last four games.
Close Battles under Butch Jones
Halfway through head Butch Jones’ fifth season at Tennessee, down to the wire finished have become a common sight on Saturdays in the Volunteer State.
In Jones’ 83 games as head coach, the Vols have played in 23 games that have been decided by eight points or less. In those games, they have a record of 10-13.
In SEC play, Tennessee has participated in 18 contests decided by eight points or less with the Vols taking going just 6-12 in those games.
Elite Pass Defense/Mediocre Run Defense
On the defensive side of the ball, Tennessee has been one of college football’s top defenses against the pass but one of the worst defenses against the run.
The Volunteers lead the SEC and are second best in America allowing just 129.2 yards per game through the air but are dead last in the conference and 122 out of 129 teams in the FBS against the run surrendering 242.8 yards per game.
One name to watch on defense is senior linebacker Colton Jumper. The Lookout Mountain, Tennessee native is fourth on the team with 35 tackles but is 10th in the SEC with 10 tackles for loss and tied for sixth in the conference with 4.5 sacks.