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September 6, 2013
The biggest storylines heading into week two are very similar compared to a week ago because Tennessee didn't learn a lot about themselves against an outmanned Austin Peay team. For the Vols, the question is defensively can they handle the Western Kentucky passing attack. The Vols didn't get to the quarterback with ease against Austin Peay and rushing the quarterback with their just their front four was not highly successful. The Hilltoppers threw for 271 yards on 24 of 31 passing. Everyone expects a Bobby Petrino team to throw the ball, but Western Kentucky has balance thanks to running back Antonio Andrews. The Hilltoppers rushed for 216 yards led by Andrews' 99 yards.
Slowing down the offenses in this match-up could be a huge challenge. The Vols scored on their first seven possessions Saturday night, while Western Kentucky scored 3 touchdowns in their first four possessions.
Head coach Butch Jones said he's impressed with the Western Kentucky program and admits they remind him of his days Central Michigan.
"Last year they led their conference in total defense and again they're going to present lot of challenges for us. Very, very sound in the special teams game. They remind me a lot of our football team we had in 2009 at Central Michigan that finished in the top 25, went on to win on the road. Beat a Michigan State football team. They have NFL personnel, they have swagger, they have confidence and they believe they can play with anyone and everyone in the country and I think that's been evidence by their body of work over a period of time.
For the Vol defense the biggest challenge or most concerning match-up is with the linebackers in pass coverage. Austin Peay tried to throw against Tennessee's linebackers in man coverage and had some success. A.J. Johnson and Curt Maggitt might have been too young to remember it, but Petrino went after them with great success in 2011 with the Razorbacks beat the Vols 49-7. Running back Dennis Johnson had 99 yards rushing and a 2 scores on the ground. Out of the backfield Johnson had 4 catches for 43 yards.
Against Kentucky, Hilltopper tailback Antonio Andrews had 99 yards on the ground and 3 catches for 37 yards.
Also the leading receiver in Nashville Saturday night for Petrino was tight end Mitchell Henry who had 6 catches for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Tennessee's underneath coverage is definitely going to get tested.
For a closer look at the rest of the match-up's, check out How they match-up from Rob Lewis.
According to the stats on the NCAA's website, the Vols were the only team in college football this past weekend to play a penalty free game. Quarterback Justin Worley said he couldn't remember a game he was part of where there were no penalties.
MAXIM THAT MATTERS
Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way - SCORE.
Turnovers are always a key component to any game but this may be a week when Tennessee needs to make the most of its opportunities.
Tennessee was one-for-two against Austin Peay, converting a first half interception by Dan Hood into a touchdown. But, the second unit couldn't convert a Malik Foreman interception into any points.
Tennessee did its job forcing turnovers, but with a team coming in high off downing an SEC foe a week ago, the Vols have to make sure they make Western Kentucky pay for any mistakes.