Vol O must help D

Asked earlier this week what Tennessee's offense can do to help the defense against high-scoring Arkansas in today's game at Neyland Stadium, Vol head coach Phillip Fulmer quipped, "Try to score more points than them."

That's an obvious answer, of course, but an accurate one. Offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe concedes that the Razorbacks' SEC-best 41.1 points-per-game scoring average puts additional pressure on the Big Orange offense to visit the end zone early and often.

"Obviously, it does," Cutcliffe said. "They're a great football team offensively. They've proved that week after week, and they're hot (coming off a 48-point explosion vs. South Carolina). We'll have to do everything we can to play as well as we possibly can to compete against an offense like that."

How many points the Vols will need to win today is anyone's guess. Nine points was enough for Auburn in a 9-7 defeat of Arkansas on Oct. 13. Razorback superstar Darren McFadden was limited by bruised ribs and a concussion that day, however, and managed just season-low 43 rushing yards. Conversely, South Carolina would've needed 49 points to prevail last weekend as a healthy McFadden rushed for 321 yards in a 48-36 Arkansas triumph.

If the Vols can produce several time-consuming drives today, there will be fewer possessions for Arkansas and fewer scoring opportunities for the Razorbacks. If Tennessee's offense has several three-and-outs and Tennessee's defense allows several big plays, however, Arkansas is likely to score at will ... as it did last weekend.

How many points will Tennessee need to win?

"You don't ever know what the situation is going in," Cutcliffe said. "We obviously know we're playing against a team that's hot and a team that's great offensively. In the last six games they've given up about 14 points a game defensively, so we're going to have to play well."


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