Tennessee Notebook: Vols look tough

UT has two standouts on offense and a defensive unit that is the best in the nation against the run.

Tennessee wide out looks unstoppable

WR Kelley Washington set a Tennessee single game receiving yardage record with 256 yards against LSU. He broke Johnny Mills record of 225 set vs. Kentucky in 1966. Washington's total was also the third highest total in SEC history, trailing Kentucky's Craig Yeast 269 yards vs. Vanderbilt in 1998 and Auburn's Alexander Wright 263 yards versus Pacific in 1989.

Washington hauled in 11 catches and had one touchdown that came on a career-best 70-yard reception from Casey Clausen. He also had three additional receiving plays covering at least 30 yards. The 11 catches were two shy of the school record. In fact, all 11 of Washington's receptions went for first downs. For the sea-son, he has taken 16 of his 20 catches for first downs and has 16 receptions for at least 10 yards. He has been on the receiving end of 20 of the 45 passes thrown by Clausen this season and accounts for 62.8 percent of the total receiving yardage (365 of 581). Washington is sixth in the NCAA and second in the SEC at 121.7 receiving yards per game.

Vols convert on 3rd down

After going 0-for-14 on third down conversions in the opener against Syracuse, the Vols have turned things around by converting 17 of their last 33 third downs for 51.5 percent. They have been successful on eight of their last 10 conversion attempts and are 9-for-13 in third and short (3 yards or less) on the season.

UT Defense is tough

· None of three opponents (Syracuse, Arkansas, LSU) have rushed for over 75 yards or scored a rushing touchdown.

· Vols have held last two opponents to 48 yards rushing on 46 attempts (1.04 ypa).

· Held opponents to just one run over 20 yards.

· Held LSU to no run longer than nine yards and limited the Tigers to just 16 yards total offense in the third quarter as UT scored on all three third quarter possessions in taking a 19-7 lead.

· Tennessee has held eight of its last nine regular season opponents to under 100 yards rushing.

· Vol defenders broke up 12 passes against LSU, the most since recording 11 in the 1991 Sugar Bowl against Virginia.

· Held Arkansas without a first down in the second half and just five for the game Held Arkansas to a minus 19 yards of total offense (minus 30 rushing, 11 passing) in the second half, finishing with 92 for the game.

· The last time Tennessee held a team under 100 yards of total offense was Kentucky in 1965 (93 yards).

· Except for one 40-yard run by Cedric Cobbs, Arkansas was held to five yards or less on the 25 other rushing attempts

· Against Syracuse, the Vol defense dominated in all but one play. If you negate Syracuse's 74-yard touchdown pass, the Orangemen would have been held to just 116 yards of total offense with just 41 coming via the air.

Stephens: top rusher in SEC

Travis Stephens has been toting the pigskin quite a bit for the Vols the last two games. He has carried the ball on 75 of Tennessee's last 104 rushing plays (71.1 percent). After tying the school record with 41 rushing attempts at Arkansas, Stephens showed his was no worse for wear after a 21-day layoff as he posted another 34 carries for 95 yards versus LSU. He has posted at least one rushing TD in each game He has rushed for 301 yards in the last two games and needs 305 yards to enter UT's top 20 career rushers. Stephens ranks No. 6 in the NCAA in rushing yards per game at 137.3 which also leads the SEC. He is 16th in the NCAA (1st in SEC) in all purpose yardage at 153.0 ypg.

Dawg Post Top Stories