November 1, 2012
Vols vs. Troy: The match-up
It's been a long month, but Tennessee (3-5, 0-5) finally gets a break from what's been a brutal stretch of the schedule. The Vols welcome Troy (4-4) to town for the first step of what they hope is a four game November winning streak. Let's dive into the match-ups.
Troy starts four upperclassmen in the secondary and they employ a 'bend-but-don't-break' approach that's been largely successful in Sun Belt play, as the 'D' gives up a respectable 26.9 points per game, but that scheme will be tested this weekend. The defense has picked off only four passes on the year and gives up a healthy 233 yards per game through the air. Opponents have completed just 55% of their passes this year, but have averaged a robust 8.1 yards per attempt. That last number bodes well for the Vols' passing attack, which showed some signs of life last week. Safety Branden Tarwyck leads the Trojans in tackles with 58.
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Tyler Bray is coming off his strongest showing of the season in SEC play, and arguably the best game he's had as a Vol. Tennessee's receiving corps is looking harder to defend than ever with the continued emergence of Zach Rogers (23 catches ,391 yards, team-high 5 TD's) as a dangerous third option. Most would probably like to see Cordarrelle Patterson (27 catches, 366 yards) get more involved as a receiver, but some of the responsibility there is on Patterson to hone his game and become more of a reliable piece of the offense. Last week's effort, 368 yards passing and 4 TD's through the air, is the kind of effort most expected to see from the Vols on a regular basis this fall. If they execute at a similar level on Saturday huge numbers could be put up against Troy.
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