Tennessee (2-3) vs. Arkansas (2-3)
Saturday, November 7th, 2020 | 6:30pm CT
Fayetteville, AR | DWR Razorback Stadium | TV: SEC Network
Knoxville, TN – A refreshed and revitalized Tennessee is back in action this Saturday after a productive open week. The Volunteers travel to Fayetteville to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks at 6:30pm CT. The game will be featured on the SEC Network.
UT will look to snap its three-game skid and start the second half of its schedule on a high note.
Saturday’s game will take place in primetime with Tom Hart (PxP), Jordan Rodgers (analyst) and Cole Cubelic (sideline) calling the action on the SEC Network starting at 6:30pm CT.
Fans can also listen to Tennessee’s official radio broadcast on the Vol Network (WIVK-FM 107.7/WNML-FM 99.1) and satellite radio (XM Ch. 390, Internet Ch. 980).
Bob Kesling (PxP), Tim Priest (analyst) and Brent Hubbs (analyst) will call the action, with Kasey Funderburg handling sideline duties.
The “Kickoff Call-In Show” begins at 5:00pm CT.
Need to Know
Open Date Success
Tennessee has a history of success following its open dates under head coach Jeremy Pruitt. The Vols are 2-1 following bye weeks since 2018, including a road upset at No. 21 Auburn in Pruitt’s first season. UT fell to No. 4 Georgia after its first open week last season, but defeated Missouri on the road following its second bye week of the year. Jarrett Guarantano threw for a career-high 415 yards in the 24-20 win over the Tigers, joining Tyler Bray (2012) and Peyton Manning (1996 & 1997) as the only three quarterbacks in program history to pass for more than 400 yards in a game.
The Vols have won four straight games during the month of November dating back to last season and hold a 6-2 overall record (4-2 SEC) in November during Pruitt’s tenure. In six of those eight games, UT has held opponents to 20 points or less.
Hyatt Looking to Build Off Breakout Performance
Highly touted freshman wideout Jalin Hyatt showed why coaches were so excited about his potential during a breakout performance against No. 2 Alabama. The Irmo, South Carolina, native made two catches for a career high 86 yards against the Crimson Tide. On Hyatt’s first catch, he sped past the secondary for his first-career touchdown catch on a 38-yard pass from Guarantano in the second quarter. Hyatt added a career-long 48-yard reception in the second half, as well. Hyatt ranks third on the team with 134 receiving yards and is averaging a team-high 26.8 yards per reception entering Saturday’s tilt at Arkansas.
Defense Creating Negative Plays
Tennessee enters Saturday’s contest against the Razorbacks ranked sixth in the SEC in tackles for loss with 29, an average of 5.8 per game. Eight Vols have recorded multiple tackles for loss this season, led by sophomore linebacker Henry To’o To’o (5.0) and senior outside linebacker Deandre Johnson (3.5). A total of 17 players on the roster have at least half a tackle for loss this season. The 29 TFLs are UT’s most through the first five games of a season since 2017 (32).
The Vols have also registered a sack in 13 consecutive games dating back to last season. Tennessee ranks sixth in the SEC with 2.0 sacks per game this year and has had a total of seven players record at least half a sack this season. Johnson leads the team and ranks fifth in the conference with 3.5 sacks.
Vols lead series, 13-5
Tennessee holds a 13-5 advantage in the all-time series, including a 5-3 record on the road. However, the Vols will be looking to end a two-game losing streak to the Razorbacks and pick up their first victory in the series since a 34-13 win in Knoxville back in 2007.
This will be the first meeting between the two programs since a 24-20 victory for Arkansas in 2015.
About the Arkansas Razorbacks
Under the direction of first-year head coach Sam Pittman, the Razorbacks have exceeded expectations so far this season despite entering Saturday’s contest with a 2-3 record. Following a season-opening loss to Georgia, the Hogs defeated then No. 16 ranked Mississippi State on the road to snap a 20-game SEC losing streak. Arkansas has also beaten Ole Miss (33-21) and nearly upset No. 13 Auburn on the road, as well.
The Razorbacks’ offense is led by redshirt senior quarterback Feleipe Franks. The Florida transfer has completed 66.0% of his passes for 1,213 yards, 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Franks has a deep group of wide receivers to throw to, led by sophomore Treylon Burks, who has 29 receptions for 366 yards and four touchdowns. The 1-2 punch of Trelon Smith and Rakeem Boyd lead the Hogs’ ground attack. Smith leads the team with 251 rushing yards and also ranks fourth in receiving yards (114) while Boyd has rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns.
Arkansas’ defense has been extremely opportunistic this season, forcing and SEC best 13 turnovers through five games. The Razorbacks also lead the conference and rank 11th nationally in turnover margin (1.20). Redshirt freshman defensive back Hudson Clark leads the SEC with three interceptions while Greg Brooks Jr. and Joe Foucha aren’t far behind with two each.
Redshirt senior linebacker Grant Morgan leads the team with 58 tackles and five tackles for loss. Junior linebacker Bumper Pool ranks second on the squad with 50 tackles and four tackles for loss.