Matchup: Arkansas

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

Game #: 1139
Site: Knoxville
Date: Nov. 10
Conference: SECW
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Fulmer and for the Razorbacks - Nutt



UT has allowed an NCAA-best three sacks and the run game has been effective for the most part, although underused. Arkansas ranks second in the nation in rushing (315.8), leads the SEC in scoring and total offense, and has converted 68.8 percent on third downs in the last three games.


Erik Ainge has had a solid season and ranks third in the SEC in passing, but he hasn't been sharp the last two games. Arkansas' Casey Dick, surprisingly, is 6th in the SEC in pass efficiency. He's hit 95 of 173 passes – the fewest attempts by a full-time starter in the SEC – for 1065 yards and 13 touchdowns.


UT's Arian Foster has 800 yards and is headed for a 1,000-yard season. Montario Hardesty and Lennon Creer are capable backups. Darren McFadden (1,316) and Felix Jones (1,026) already have 1,000 yards. McFadden tied an SEC record with 321 yards against South Carolina. Jones is averaging a whopping 9.3 yards per carry and has the highest career per carry average of any active player.


After a hot start, UT's Lucas Taylor, Austin Rogers and Josh Briscoe have slowed down a bit. Taylor (turf toe) and Rogers (shoulder) have battled injuries. Still, they've combined for 122 catches and more than 1,400 yards. Arkansas' Marcus Monk is a great talent, but he's been limited by two preseason knee surgeries. Arkansas' top wide receiver has only eight catches.



UT is ninth in the SEC in run defense (167.7) and the team is last in the league in sacks. The Vols welcome back tackle Demonte Bolden from a one-game suspension. Arkansas is seventh in the SEC in run defense (147.2 yards) and fourth in the league in sacks (19) after getting four against UT a year ago


John Chavis said Jerod Mayo and Rico McCoy have played at an All-American level 75 to 85 percent of the time. Mayo and McCoy lead the team in tackles. Two of Arkansas' top three tacklers are linebackers: Weston Dacus (76) and Freddie Fairchild (58).


UT's is 9th in the SEC in pass defense efficiency. Only two teams have allowed more touchdown passes and no team has given up more yards. Arkansas leads the SEC in pass defense efficiency, just ahead of LSU. The Hogs are tied with Alabama for most interceptions with 15. Jerell Norton is tied for first in the SEC with five interceptions and Michael Grant leads with 13 passes defended.

S. TeamsCOMMENTSS. Teams

No SEC team has a better punt-kicker combination than UT. The Vols have done well on kickoff returns, but the dismissal of LaMarcus Coker hurts. Punt returns the punt and kick coverage have been average, at best. Arkansas is 9th in punt returns and net punting. Kicker Alex Tejada has made 14 of 18 field-goal attempts. Felix Jones leads the SEC with 31.7 yards on kick returns and teams have taken to bloop and squib kicks, giving the Hogs great field position after kickoffs.



Arkansas has won five of six games after an 0-3 start in SEC play. UT is one of two SEC teams undefeated at home (LSU is the other) and as outscored the last three opponents at home 73-0 in the first half. Also, the Vols are tired of hearing about how bad their defense is. UT controls its destiny.


Arkansas 38, Tennessee 31.

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