- The Vols are looking for some home-field redemption after suffering a lackluster 19-15 loss to UCLA in their last Neyland Stadium performance.
"We didn't like the way we played last time at home," head coach Lane Kiffin said this week.
"Obviously, we wanted to win the game but it was a win for us on a lot of different levels - like the confidence of our team," defensive end Chris Walker said. "The young guys are seeing just how close we are to being a really good team and the things we can get better on.
"That definitely gave us a big confidence boost to go down to The Swamp and play with the No. 1 team in the country. It shows us we can play with anybody."
- Ohio's defense is very similar to the one Tennessee defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin utilizes. Facing the same defense it sees each day in practice should help a Volunteer attack that struggled mightily in Games 2 and 3.
"I think the good thing about Ohio ... is that they do run a similar defense to what our defense runs," Kiffin said. "Their defensive coordinator (Jimmy Burrow) has a background with my dad. He played at Nebraska (as did Monte). There's some common coaches they know and they've spent a lot of time together. They've really installed a lot of the Tampa defense. I hope that helps us because we practice against it all the time."
- Tennessee's players got a little too cocky after their 63-7 Game 1 blowout of Western Kentucky and played poorly in Game 2. Now that they've lost back-to-back games to UCLA and top-ranked Florida, their hunger is back.
"I like where they're at because I think they realize that if they practice the way we're trying to get them to practice - we have physical practices and we have focus - we can play well," Kiffin said. "We played well in Game 1. We did some good things in Game 3. We didn't play as well in Game 2 and I've said this before: I don't think we practiced as well preparing for Game 2."
- The Vol offense is due to break loose after scoring just 13 points against UCLA and 13 more against Florida. The game plan won't be so run-oriented this week, so the passing attack will get a chance to provide some big plays.
- The Vol defense is playing lights-out. Tennessee is allowing just 16.3 points and 197.3 yards per game. That's outstanding, especially considering how little help the defense has gotten from the Vol offense.
- Tennessee's run defense is limiting opponents to 3.0 yards per carry. Ohio averages just 2.9 yards per carry and has yet to score a rushing touchdown this season. That means the Bobcats will have to throw the ball a lot, playing right into the hands of a UT pass rush that already has 10 sacks and a UT secondary that is the strongest area of the team.
Bottom line: Ohio U is a decent team but the Bobcats will find the going tough Saturday night against a Tennessee team that is eager to snap out of its offensive doldrums, snap a two-game losing streak and put some snap in the step of 100,000 Big Orange fans.