Preview: Vanderbilt at Tennessee

When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 28, 2015
Where: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee


Tennessee seeks its first five-game winning streak and eight-victory campaign since 2007 when it hosts in-state rival Vanderbilt on Saturday, wrapping up a regular season which revealed that the Volunteers appear close to joining the SEC's elite. Tennessee's four losses - by a combined 17 points - came against teams who are a combined 36-8, including two of the top four in the College Football Playoff in No. 2 Alabama (19-14) and No. 3 Oklahoma (31-24 in double overtime).

That's life in the big time, though, prompting coach Butch Jones to tell reporters: "Every day you get up, and it’s fourth-and-1 for the national championship." The Volunteers boast a rushing attack that produces 213.7 yards per game - their highest average since 1994 - and is led by Jalen Hurd (10 touchdowns), who became the first sophomore in school history (18th overall) to rush for 1,000 yards in a season after going for 151 in last week's 19-8 victory at Missouri. Vanderbilt averages 14 points per game - last among the 127 FBS teams - and 11.1 in SEC contests after last week's 25-0 loss to Texas A&M. "It hurts," sophomore running back Ralph Webb told reporters. "We're supposed to score points. Obviously, something's not going right if we're not scoring points." 

TV: 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: Tennessee -17.5

ABOUT VANDERBILT (4-7, 2-5 SEC): Webb (five touchdowns) became the fifth player in school history to surpass 1,000 yards rushing in a season (1,003), with 79 coming against Texas A&M. Despite their struggling offense, the Commodores boast the No. 14 scoring defense in the nation at 18.1 points allowed per game, but good for only fifth in the SEC. Sophomore linebacker Zach Cunningham is seventh in the SEC with 93 tackles while forcing four fumbles (tied for second in SEC) and recovering three (first) despite not starting until Week 3 while his 16.5 tackles for loss rank as the third-highest total for a season in school history.

ABOUT TENNESSEE (7-4, 4-3): Junior quarterback Joshua Dobbs (59.7 completion rate, 13 touchdown passes, five interceptions) is also a big part of the running game (530 yards, eight touchdowns) along with sophomore running back Alvin Kamara (546, six). Sophomore defensive back Evan Berry leads the nation by averaging 39.6 yards per kickoff return and is one of four players in the nation to bring back three for touchdowns. The Volunteers have the nation's No. 25 scoring defense at 20.5 points and features junior linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (team-best 96 tackles, four sacks) and sophomore defense end Derek Barnett (seven sacks).

EXTRA POINTS

1. Webb is 191 yards shy of breaking the school record for rushing yards in a season set by Zac Stacy in 2011.

2. Berry (39.55) is pursuing the NCAA record of 40.08 yards per kickoff return set by BYU's Paul Allen in 1961.

3. Tennessee, which is Vanderbilt's most-frequent opponent, leads the series 74-30-5 after Dobbs rushed for two touchdowns in a 24-17 victory last year. That snapped a two-game winning streak for the Commodores - their longest since a six-game run ended in 1926.

PREDICTION: Tennessee 28, Vanderbilt 10

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Vanderbilt 4-7 L1 14.0 18.1 3-3 1-4 0-2 1-1 2-5
Tennessee 7-4 W4 32.6 20.5 5-2 2-2 6-4 0-0 4-3

Last Meeting

Vanderbilt Tennessee
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/29/14 TENN 24 VAN 17 272 123 149 262 170 92

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
VAN P. Robinette 50.0 131 1 2
TENN J. Dobbs 55.0 92 0 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
VAN R. Webb 16 55 3.4 1
TENN J. Dobbs 21 91 4.3 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
VAN S. Scheu 3 62 20.7 1
TENN P. Howard 5 55 11.0 0
TDs Player TD
VAN S. Scheu 1
TENN J. Dobbs 2
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
VAN J. McCrary 54.7 1533 6 12
TENN J. Dobbs 59.7 1985 13 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
VAN R. Webb 256 1003 3.9 5
TENN J. Hurd 234 1035 4.4 10
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
VAN T. Sherfield 45 574 12.8 2
TENN J. Malone 29 388 13.4 2
TDs Player TD
VAN R. Webb 7
TENN J. Hurd 12

Quickchart Matchup

Vanderbilt Off vs  Tennessee Def
319.5 yards
367.9 yards
3.6 yards/rush
4.2 yards/rush
5.4 yards/attempt
6.5 yards/attempt
Tennessee Off vs  Vanderbilt Def
413.4 yards
334.8 yards
4.6 yards/rush
3.7 yards/rush
6.9 yards/attempt
6.3 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Vanderbilt Overall Tennessee
4-7-0 W/L 7-4-0
7-4-0 ATS 6-5-0
0-10-1 O/U 5-6-0
14.0 Pts For 32.6
18.1 Pts Against 20.5
Vanderbilt A/H Tennessee
1-4 W/L 5-2
3-2-0 ATS 3-4-0
0-5-0 O/U 3-4-0
10.0 Pts For 35.3
20.4 Pts Against 21.4
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