UT-NIU matchup chart

What follows is a position-by-position look at Saturday night's game between Tennessee and Northern Illinois:

Game #: 1148
Site: Knoxville
Date: Oct. 4
Conference: MAC
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Fulmer and for the Huskies - Kill


Vols

Huskies
OLCOMMENTSOL

With all five starters back from '07, UT's line should be outstanding. So far, it has been good but nothing worth writing home about.

QB'sCOMMENTSQB's

NIU's Dan Nicholson has a 127.4 passer efficiency rating. Tennessee's Jonathan Crompton has a 95.83 rating and a growing legion of doubters.

RB'sCOMMENTSRB's

UT's best runner is Arian Foster ... or maybe it's Montario Hardesty ... or maybe Lennon Creer. NIU's best runner (Me'Co Brown) is hurt.

WR'sCOMMENTSWR's

The Huskies' Nathan Palmer is averaging 35.4 yards per catch (7 catches, 248 yards). UT's receivers have been a huge disappointment.


Vols

Huskies
DLCOMMENTSDL

Sophomore defensive ends Chris Walker and Ben Martin have been two of Tennessee's most pleasant surprises this fall.

LB'sCOMMENTSLB's

Even with Ellix Wilson slowed by injury, flashy Rico McCoy gives UT an edge in this category.

DB'sCOMMENTSDB's

NIU allows 24 more passing yards per game than Tennessee, despite having faced a weaker level of competition.

S. TeamsCOMMENTSS. Teams

Mike Salerno (6 of 7 on field goals) and Andy Dittbenner (42.4 yards per punt) give the Huskies a slight edge.


Vols

Huskies
INTANGIBLES

The home field isn't much of an advantage when you see 40,000 empty seats and hear your own fans boo you. NIU has everything to gain and nothing to lose.

PREDICTION

I think the Vols will be flat, as will their fans. Tennessee should rally from a slow start to pull away in the second half, though. UT 31, NIU 10.


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