10 bold predictions for Tennessee-Vanderbilt
Tennessee and Vanderbilt will take the field for the 112th time Saturday. The Vols lead 75–31–5 in the in-state series that began on Oct. 21, 1892.
The Vols and Commodores are both 4-7 overall and winless in SEC play. Vanderbilt will seek to hand Tennessee its first eight-loss season in program history.
How will the rivalry game play out?
John Kelly on par for a 100-yard rushing game
The Vols’ workhorse has not reached 100 yards rushing in a game since Sept. 23 against UMass (101 yards). Kelly’s other 100-yard performances came at Florida (141 yards) and against Georgia Tech (128 yards). Interim head coach Brady Hoke has mentioned that he would like for Kelly to have 25 touches against Vanderbilt.
Ralph Webb will climb the SEC career rushing ranks
Vanderbilt senior running back Ralph Webb is ninth all-time in career rushing yards in SEC history with 4,015. Webb can move up sixth all-time with a 149-yard performance. The Vols are allowing 251.7 rushing yards per game (126th nationally), which makes a case for Webb getting a lot of touches in the final game of his college career.
Points on the board
In all but one conference game, Tennessee has given up at least 26 points. Vanderbilt has given up at least 34 points in each SEC game. Vanderbilt usually is known for its defense under Derek Mason, but this year, not so much. Both teams are likely to put up 20-plus points.
Guarantano 125-plus passing yards
Since the 59-0 loss to Alabama in Week 4, Vanderbilt has given up at least 195 yards through the air except against Georgia. The Bulldogs only attempted 14 passes and threw for 126 yards. The Vols’ run game could be able to open up the passing game and possibly set up Jarrett Guarantano for his third 200-plus-yard passing game of the season. Guarantano threw for 242 yards at Kentucky and 239 yards against LSU.
Marquez Callaway eclipsing 5 receptions
Five receptions does not sound like much for a talented wide receiver such as Marquez Callaway, but the 6-foot-2, 199-pound sophomore has not reeled in more than four passes in a game this season. Callaway had four receptions against Georgia Tech and South Carolina.
John Kelly finishes as Vols’ leading receiver
John Kelly comes into the last game of the season as the Vols’ leading receiver with 36 receptions. Wide receiver Brandon Johnson is second on Team 121 with 31 receptions and has only one game this season with more than four receptions (7 vs. UMass).
Kyle Shurmur interception streak
Through the first six games of this season, Vanderbilt junior quarterback Kyle Shurmur was on pace to reduce his interceptions thrown from last season’s 10. He had thrown only one through the first six games. But in the past four SEC games, he threw nine. He’ll wind up with more than last season with one on Saturday.
Ethan Wolf eyes single-season best for receptions
Tennessee senior tight end Ethan Wolf needs two receptions to surpass his best single-season total. In 2014 and 2015, Wolf reeled in 23 catches. He had 21 last season.
Aaron Medley most field goals since 2000
Senior kicker Aaron Medley entered the season tied with John Becksvoort for the fifth-most field goals in UT history, needing 19 more to tie Fuad Reveiz for the school record. But sharing playing time with freshman Brent Cimaglia, Medley has connected on only five. Medley still has a shot to catch James Wilhoit for the most field goals for UT since 2000. Wilhoit has 59 made kicks and Medley stands at 57.
Vols send seniors out with win
On Senior Day, the players who helped get Tennessee back on the map prior to this tumultuous season close their college careers with a victory.