Notre Dame's Jeff Samardzija, who stands 6-5, caught seven passes for 127 yards and a touchdown against Tennessee. Teammate Anthony Fasano, who also stands 6-5, caught a 43-yard touchdown pass against UT. Teammate Maurice Stovall, who also stands 6-5, beat Vol cornerback Roshaun Fellows in a jump-ball situation for a 35-yard touchdown catch.
That brings us to Ryan Scott of Memphis, this weekend's Tennessee foe. Even playing in a decidedly run-oriented offense, Scott has caught 26 balls for 326 yards (12.5 per catch) and three touchdowns. Oh, yeah, Scott stands 6-4 and weighs 215 pounds.
"They've got a big, tall wide receiver," Vol defensive coordinator John Chavis said, "and we haven't had very good luck against big, tall wide receivers. They're going to throw a lot of jump balls and let him go up and get ‘em. Scott's done a good job. He's made some catches in traffic. There's a lot to be concerned with."
In addition to tall receivers, Tennessee historically has trouble with mobile quarterbacks. The Tigers' Maurice Avery certainly fills the bill. Switched from receiver to quarterback a few weeks ago, he has exhibited excellent running skills, rushing 70 times for 303 yards (4.3 per carry). He gained 38 yards on four carries in Game 5 vs. Central Florida and 105 yards on 19 carries a week later vs. Houston.
Avery can fling the pigskin, too. He has completed 69.4 percent of his passes and has an eye-popping passer efficiency rating of 159.85.
"He's starting to feel comfortable now," Chavis said. "They haven't thrown the ball that much but they're starting to throw it a little bit more. Go back and look at his passing percentage."
Memphis also has a fellow named DeAngelo Williams. You've probably heard of him. He's leading the NCAA in rushing at 184.5 yards per game. I know what you're thinking: Ole Miss limited him to 85 yards in the 2005 opener, and Tennessee has a better defense than Ole Miss.
That's true. But that happened before Maurice Avery switched to quarterback. Before Ryan Scott emerged as a receiving threat. Before the Tigers developed a passing game to complement the NCAA's best running back.
Finally, here are two more reasons Memphis won't be easy pickin's Saturday at Neyland Stadium.
1. Tennessee's offense
2. Tennessee's special teams