Vol slate, part 3

Today we wrap up our early scouting report on Tennessee's 2011 football schedule with in-depth looks at the opponents for Games 9, 10, 11 and 12:

Nov. 5 - Middle Tennessee (home): Head coach Rick Stockstill is saying goodbye to a lot of the firepower that helped his 2010 Blue Raiders earn a bowl bid. Gone from the 6-7 team that fell 35-21 to Miami (Ohio) in the GoDaddy.com Bowl are leading rusher Phillip Tanner, leading passer Dwight Dasher and leading receiver Garrett Andrews. Tanner ran for 928 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Dasher completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 1,550 yards and 6 touchdowns, with another 543 yards and eight TDs as a rusher. Andrews caught 34 balls for 377 yards. The losses are equally significant on defense, where the departures include end Jamari Lattimore (68 stops, 11.5 sacks), linebacker Justin Jones (68 stops), defensive backs Jeremy Kellem (108 stops), Rod Issac (3 interceptions, 1 returned for touchdown) and Kevin Brown (71 stops). The top returnees project to be wideout Malcolm Beyah (29 catches, 388 yards, 13.4 yards per catch), defensive back Darin Davis (81 stops, 3 interceptions) and kicker Alan Gendreau (10 of 12 fields goals, including a 55-yarder).

Nov. 12 - Arkansas (away): The Razorbacks went 10-3 with all three setbacks coming against teams ranked in the national top 10 at the time. They fell 24-20 to No. 1 Alabama, bowed 65-43 to No. 7 Auburn and lost 31-26 to No. 6 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. The Hogs also beat a top-10 team, dumping No. 6 LSU 31-23 in the regular-season finale. Arkansas scored 36.5 points per game and allowed 23.4. The Hogs averaged 148.8 rushing yards per game and an SEC-leading 333.7 passing yards. Rubber-armed Ryan Mallett (64.7 completion percentage, 3,869 passing yards, 32 TDs) is bypassing his senior year in favor of the NFL Draft but backup QB Tyler Wilson showed tremendous promise last fall - completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 453 yards and four touchdowns, while compiling a passer-efficiency rating of 155.4. Superstar tight end D.J. Williams (54 catches for 627 yards) is out of eligibility but Arkansas returns quality receivers Joe Adams (50 catches for 813 yards), Greg Childs (46 for 659), Jarius Wright (42 for 788) and Cobi Hamilton (32 for 630). Also back is Knile Davis, who rushed for 1,322 yards and 13 TDs. Arkansas returns most of its defense, too, led by linebackers Jerry Franklin (100 stops, 6.5 sacks) and Jerico Nelson (87 stops, 11 tackles for loss). The Razorbacks' kicking game returns intact. Dylan Breeding is back after averaging 42.5 yards per punt and Zach Hocker is back after hitting 16 of 19 field-goal tries, including a 51-yarder.

Nov. 19 - Vanderbilt (home): Former Maryland aide James Franklin assumes a Commodore program that went 2-10 overall and 1-7 in SEC play last fall. Vandy scored just 16.9 points per game and allowed 31.2. The Dores averaged 138.8 rushing yards but a paltry 159.4 passing yards. Larry Smith is back for his senior year as the No. 1 quarterback after completing just 47.4 percent of his passes for 1,262 yards, with 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. His top targets are tight end Brandon Barden (34 catches for 425 yards) and wideout John Cole (25 for 317). The key returnee is tailback Warren Norman, who averaged 6.0 yards per carry en route to 459 rushing yards in an injury-shortened 2010 season. Defensively, the top returning hands are linebacker Chris Marve (80 stops, 8 tackles for loss) and defensive back Casey Hayward (70 stops, 6 interceptions). The key loss is linebacker John Stokes (78 stops, 6 tackles for loss). Vandy returns kicker Ryan Fowler (8 of 13 field goals) and punter Richard Kent (41.8-yard average).

Nov. 26 - Kentucky (away): Joker Phillips finished his first year as an SEC head coach with a 6-7 record that included a postseason loss (27-10 to Pitt in the Compass Bowl). The Wildcats were the only team in the East to beat division champ South Carolina and they gave unbeaten Auburn a real scare before losing 37-34. Do-it-all Randall Cobb is due back after catching 84 passes for 1,017 yards, rushing for another 424 yards and returning kicks and punts. He may skip his senior year in favor of the NFL Draft, however. If so, UK will face a major rebuilding chore on offense since quarterback Mike Hartline (66.2 percent completion rate, 3,178 yards, 23 TD, 9 interception), star tailback Derrick Locke (887 rushing yards, 318 receiving yards) and wideout Chris Matthews (61 catches, 925 yards, 9 TDs) are out of eligibility. Defensively, most of the key players return, led by linebacker Danny Trevathan (114 stops, 16 tackles for loss) and safety Winston Guy (81 stops, 3 interceptions). Kicker Craig McIntosh (11 of 15 on field goals, 50 long) and punter Ryan Tydlacka (43.8-yard average) are back, too.


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