No. 23 Tennessee Volunteers looking to crank up run game, offense vs UTSA

Thu, Sep 21, 2023

No. 23 Tennessee Volunteers looking to crank up run game, offense vs UTSA

UTSA (1-2) at No. 23 Tennessee (2-1), Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

Line: Tennessee by 20 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: First meeting.


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The Tennessee Volunteers have been busy taking a good, long look at themselves after the loss to Florida. Self-inflicted mistakes ranging from too many penalties, a turnover and turning the ball over on downs didn't help. The Vols need a win to rebuild confidence that took a big hit. UTSA has won back-to-back Conference USA championships by going 23-5 over the past two seasons. Now the Roadrunners are off to a sluggish start needing some momentum before diving into league play.


Tennessee didn't run the ball particularly well in a win over Austin Peay. Then, the Vols were held to just 100 yards by Florida finding little room to run. UTSA is giving up just 129 yards rushing. Getting center Cooper Mays back from a medical procedure on a knee that has sidelined him since August could help the Vols' offense.


UTSA: Linebacker Trey Moore is a 6-foot-3, 235-pound sophomore who ranks fifth in the country averaging 1.33 sacks per game and 15th in tackles for loss (1.7). His production is a big reason why the Roadrunners give up just 339 yards a game.

Tennessee: Running backs Jaylen Wright, Jabari Small and Dylan Sampson. The Vols' offense needs the run game working. Wright (63 yards) and Small (35) both struggled to find room to run at Florida. Sampson scored four touchdowns in the opener against Virginia. He was used sparingly against Austin Peay and didn't see the field against Florida.


Tennessee QB Joe Milton III's streak of 248 consecutive passes without an interception ended against Florida. ... Milton has had seven straight games with at least one TD pass. ... Tennessee has won seven straight games against non-conference opponents, six by double digits. ... The Vols have won 10 straight games at Neyland Stadium. ... UTSA is 5-7 all-time against teams in the Eastern time zone. ... In their 13th season of football, the Roadrunners will play their 150th game all-time (76-73). ... LB Martaveous French had 10 tackles last week against Army. French started his career at Tennessee, but never played before transferring.


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