Inside The Numbers: Tennessee looks to capitalize on bye week entering Georgia matchup
The Tennessee Volunteers (2-1) travel to Athens, Ga., for their annual SEC East matchup with No. 12 Georgia. The Vols look to capitalize on a Week 4 bye, following a 34-10 loss to No. 4 Oklahoma. Here’s a look inside the numbers.
209: Freshman Jalen Hurd leads Tennessee in rushing yards through three games. The five-star prospect has seen a 48-34 edge in rushing attempts over senior Marlin Lane, despite being listed behind the veteran on the Vols’ depth chart. Hurd has seen a progression in each game, rushing for 29 yards in Week 1, 83 yards in Week 2 and 97 yards in Week 3. Facing a Georgia team with a stable of talented running backs, it will take a big performance from Hurd to standout in Week 5.
29: A.J. Johnson was the SEC leader in tackles entering a Week 4 bye. Johnson, who was projected to both the All-SEC First Team and All-SEC Coaches First Team has continued his dominance in his senior season. Being surrounded by the most talented group of teammates he’s had since his arrival has only done wonders for the middle linebacker. Against Heisman hopeful Todd Gurley, Johnson will need to see another memorable performance for Tennessee to pull off an upset.
23.26%: Tennessee’s defense has forced fourth down 77 percent of the time this season. The Vols’ opponents are 10-of-43 on third down conversions this season. Tennessee will look to continue that success on Saturday facing a run-heavy Georgia offense. If the Vols can force Hutson Mason to throw on third down, they should be able to add to their already impressive average.
57.14%: Tennessee’s red zone success against Oklahoma was hardly successful. The Vols struggled to capitalize on close possessions, while the Sooners finished with a 92.88 success rate. Tennessee will need to capitalize in the red zone against a tough Oklahoma defense.
13: The number of plays in which an Oklahoma defender either sacked or hurried Justin Worley. Worley was sacked five times and hurried eight. The offensive line looked abysmal against the Sooners’ stellar pass rush and needs to improve facing a talented Georgia front seven.
66.7: Aaron Medley’s field goal percentage is a cause for concern. The freshman has struggled during his first season, missing kicks in both of Tennessee’s first two games. Tennessee refuses to name an official starter between Medley and George Bullock, however, has allowed Meldey to kick in all three games thus far.