Matchup: UT vs. WKU

What follows is a position-by-position comparison of Tennessee and Western Kentucky, who collide Saturday afternoon at Neyland Stadium:

Game #: 1156
Site: Knoxville
Date: Sep. 5
Conference: Sunbelt
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Kiffin and for the Hilltoppers - Elson


Vols

Hilltoppers
OLCOMMENTSOL

Tennessee will start four seniors up front, which should give the depth-shy Vols a slight edge.

QB'sCOMMENTSQB's

Jonathan Crompton's passer efficiency rating for 2008 was a mediocre 98.13 but WKU's Brandon Smith checked in at 55.79. Ouch!

RB'sCOMMENTSRB's

Western has a nice duo in Tyrell Hayden and Marell Brooker but look for Montario Hardesty and Bryce Brown to put up 100 yards each Saturday.

WR'sCOMMENTSWR's

WKU's Jake Gaebler caught 54 balls last fall. All of UT's returning receivers combined caught 28.


Vols

Hilltoppers
DLCOMMENTSDL

Vol ends Chris Walker and Gerald Williams will make life miserable for Hilltopper QBs. The Vols FINALLY have speed off the edge.

LB'sCOMMENTSLB's

I'm skeptical of this Vol linebacking corps, so I'm not giving it the edge against anyone until I see it in action.

DB'sCOMMENTSDB's

Vol All-American Eric Berry has a lot of young players around him but they are really gifted young players. WKU allowed 212 passing yards per game last fall.

S. TeamsCOMMENTSS. Teams

The Toppers averaged a whopping 25.1 yards on kickoff returns last season but UT has the edge at punter and place-kicker.


Vols

Hilltoppers
INTANGIBLES

Tennessee's high-energy coaches and fabulous freshmen have fans at a fever pitch. The home field will be worth 14 points in this game.

PREDICTION

Western Kentucky has lost eight games in a row, and the skid should reach nine by 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon.


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