Matchup: UAB

This week, Tennessee takes on UAB in Knoxville. This is our take on this Vols vs Blazers matchup.

The Vols vs The Blazers
Pre-game Matchup

Game #: 1106
Site: Knoxville
Date: Sep. 3
Conference: USA
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Fulmer and for the Blazers - Brown


Vols

Blazers
OLCOMMENTSOL

UAB has a good blocking wall but the quick adjustment of Rob Smith from guard to center has solidified what could be an awesome Tennessee line.

QB'sCOMMENTSQB's

The Vols' Erik Ainge is going to be a quality quarterback. However, UAB's Darrell Hackney (3,070 passing yards in 2004) is already at that level.

RB'sCOMMENTSRB's

The Blazers' Dan Burks ran for 880 yards last fall. UT's Gerald Riggs is coming off a 1,107-yard season, however, and zeroing in on the Vols' single-season rushing record.

WR'sCOMMENTSWR's

UAB will desperately miss Roddy White, who posted 1,452 receiving yards last year en route to being a first-round NFL draft pick. UT's Robert Meachem, Bret Smith, Chris Hannon, Jayson Swain and C.J. Fayton may be the best quintet in the SEC.


Vols

Blazers
DLCOMMENTSDL

Jesse Mahelona may be the NCAA's finest defensive tackle, and teammate Justin Harrell isn't far behind. UAB simply has no one in their class.

LB'sCOMMENTSLB's

Tennessee's second-team 'backers probably would start for the Blazers, who must replace all three starting LBs from 2004.

DB'sCOMMENTSDB's

UAB's opponents completed 60 percent of their passes last fall. Unfortunately, UT's opponents completed 61 percent. This position is too close to call.

S. TeamsCOMMENTSS. Teams

Vol kicker James Wilhoit struggled in 2004, and punter Britton Colquitt is an unproven freshman. UT's return teams were abysmal last fall, so this area needs vast improvement. Another deadlock.


Vols

Blazers
INTANGIBLES

Tennessee has the homefield advantage and a top-five ranking. However, the Vols could be looking ahead to SEC powers Florida and LSU. The Blazers have everything to gain and nothing to lose, so they'll be focused but relaxed..

PREDICTION

Tennessee generally struggles a bit in openers but UAB's defense is so porous it may not matter. Look for UT to stumble early, then explode ... Tennessee 37, UAB 10.


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