Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s SEC showdown between Tennessee and No. 3 Ole Miss

When: Tonight
Where: Oxford, Mississippi
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Current Line: Ole Miss (-16.5)

Game Buzz: Ole Miss (6-0) has seen a dramatic turnaround since last season. The Rebels were 8-5 overall and 3-5 in SEC games, finishing sixth in the SEC West. But the emergence of several sophomores from a top-5 2013 recruiting class has propelled Ole Miss into the national spotlight. Tennessee (3-3) is hoping to see similar success with its top-5 recruiting class from this past year. However, inexperience and struggles in the trenches have kept the Vols from closing out signature games.



Players To Watch

  • QB Bo Wallace
  • WR Laquon Treadwell
  • RB Jaylen Walton
  • DE Robert Nkemdiche
  • S Cody Prewitt
  • CB Senquez Golson
  • DB Tony Conner

Keys For Ole Miss

  • Wreak havoc on Tennessee’s young offensive line. The Volunteers have five new starters on the offensive front and the Landsharks have a prime opportunity to create immense pressure on senior quarterback Justin Worley. When given time, Worley can spin it so the Rebels’ ability to spend time in the backfield will be key.
  • Run the ball effectively. Ole Miss had a little bit of success running the football last week against Texas A&M. The Volunteers, however, are much more talented on defense that the Aggies. The Rebels need to keep the pressure off Bo Wallace by having an effective ground game. Can a running back step up and have an impact?
  • Don’t fall asleep. Coming off two big wins, Ole Miss enters the perfect storm for an upset Saturday night. A home favorite facing an inferior team. The Volunteers are more talented than their record shows, thus the Rebels will have to do more than show up. Ole Miss better be ready to play.

Glaring weakness to watch: The run game. It’s been a running back-by-committee approach for Hugh Freeze so far this season, and to say the Rebels have struggled to run the ball would be an understatement. Ole Miss must have an impact on the ground game to keep the pressure off of Bo Wallace through the air.

Interesting part of the game: This is a tricky game for the Rebs. Tennessee is capable of pulling the upset in Oxford if Ole Miss merely shows up. Freeze’s team needs to be ready to play and put forth a good effort in primetime on Saturday night.

Team buzz: Things are wonderful on The Grove. The Rebels dominated a potential trap game last weekend in College Station. Can they do the same this week? Ole Miss has done a great job of discarding wins this season and moving on to the next game. They’ll need to do the same this week.

Tennessee Volunteers

Players To Watch

  • QB Justin Worley
  • RB Jalen Hurd
  • WR Marquez North
  • WR Von Pearson
  • TE Ethan Wolf
  • LB A.J. Johnson
  • LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin
  • CB Cameron Sutton
  • KR Evan Berry

Keys For Tennessee

  • Have an effective passing game. When given time, Worley can throw the ball well and the Volunteers possess plenty of talent at the skill positions. If Tennessee’s going to pull the upset in Oxford, keeping the Ole Miss defense honest will be key. Worley must have time to throw the ball.
  • Force turnovers. Bo Wallace has been “Good Bo” in SEC play through the Rebels’ first three conference games. Tennessee has talent on the defensive side of the football, and if the Vols can create pressure on Wallace and get him to make bad decisions and turn the ball over, Tennessee will be in a good position.
  • Tennessee’s offensive line must block someone. The Volunteers are young up front with five new starters, and they face their toughest test of the season tonight. The Ole Miss defense has the athleticism and talent up front to give Tennessee fits, and could give Worley headaches in the backfield.

Glaring weakness to watch: Offensive line. See above.

Interesting part of the game: Tennessee’s been close in two SEC games this season; a three-point loss to Georgia and a one-point loss to Florida. Can Butch Jones’ team close a game out? If the Volunteers can hang around late, this game could get interesting.

Team buzz: Tennessee needs a signature win this season. It could easily have two wins in conference play, but mistakes and the inability to seal games late have plagued the Vols. This game has been labeled a trap game for Ole Miss. Can Tennessee derail the Rebels’ dream season?