Matchup: Notre Dame

This week, Tennessee takes on Notre Dame in South Bend. This is our take on this Vols vs Fighting Irish matchup.

Game #: 1113
Site: South Bend
Date: Nov. 5
Conference: IND
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Fulmer and for the Fighting Irish - Wies


Vols

Fighting Irish
OLCOMMENTSOL

Notre Dame returned each starter from last season and has its most experienced line in 20 years. UT's line has been banged up. David Ligon will be the fourth different starter at center.

QB'sCOMMENTSQB's

Brady Quinn has completed 65.8 percent of his passes. Ainge has completed 41.2 percent. Quinn is averaging 336 passing yards per game. Ainge has passed for 323 yards this season. Quinn has thrown a school-record 20 touchdown passes. Ainge has thrown two. Quinn needs 401 yards to become the school's all-time leading passer. Ainge needs 9,426.

RB'sCOMMENTSRB's

Darius Walker has 617 yards. Rashon Powers-Neal has scored six touchdowns in five games. Arian Foster had 148 yards in his first career start, but lost a critical goal-line fumble against South Carolina.

WR'sCOMMENTSWR's

The Irish went from pedestrian to potent. Stovall, who lost 15 pounds, had 10 catches for 207 yards and four touchdowns against BYU. Samardzija has 44 catches for 750 yards and a school-record 11 touchdowns. UT's Fayton has been in effective the last three games because of an ankle injury. Meachem has been about 80 percent since a first-game ankle injury. The rest of the wideouts have been inconsistent.


Vols

Fighting Irish
DLCOMMENTSDL

UT ends Parys Haralson and Jason Hall have combined for 10.5 sacks. Jesse Mahelona and Justin Harrell are the best tackle tandem in the SEC. Notre Dame tackles Trevor Laws and Derek Landri are tough inside. End Victor Abiamiri leads the team with 4.5 sacks.

LB'sCOMMENTSLB's

Kevin Simon and Omar Gaither rank 1-2 in tackles for UT with a combined 116. Notre Dame's Brandon Hoyte leads the team with 56 tackles, 11.5 for loss. Corey Mays is solid in the middle.

DB'sCOMMENTSDB's

Vols have allowed just three touchdown passes this season and rank 31st in the nation in pass defense efficiency. The Irish allow 306.6 passing yards per game. Cornerback Mike Richardson has three interceptions. Tom Zbikowski has scored on a punt return and interception return in the last two games.

S. TeamsCOMMENTSS. Teams

Zbikowski is averaging 15.2 yards per punt return. David Grimes is averaging 23.9 yards per kick return. UT ranks 100 in punt returns, 102 in kickoff returns and 96 in net punting.


Vols

Fighting Irish
INTANGIBLES

UT had an emotional week when offensive coordinator Randy Sanders resigned effective at the end of the season. He remains as the quarterbacks coach. Notre Dame must win to keep alive hopes of a BCS bid that would be worth over $14 million.

PREDICTION

Notre Dame 34, Tennessee 17.


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