The Vols take on the mighty Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, aren’t we all so thrilled? Last week’s compelling defensive performance just has me dying to to see this 4 p.m. matchup. The fierce Sycamores went 4-7 last season, losing to elite teams like Missouri State, Western Illinois, South Dakota and Northern Iowa. However, Tennessee has been pretty lackluster against some lesser opponents under Butch Jones. After giving up what felt like a billion rushing yards last week, nothing is out of the question. Let’s look at some numbers to start telling the story of Saturday’s game.
0 — The number of times the Vols have played Indiana State. I’m sure Indiana State will be champing at the bit to schedule Tennessee in the near future after an inevitable beat down this weekend.
1 — The number of quarterbacks Tennessee used against Georgia Tech, though not likely the same number the Vols will use on Saturday. Quinten Dormady played all four quarters and both overtimes against the Yellow Jackets. He had plenty of up and down moments, none of which were helped by early receiver drops, but he finished strong. Will backup Jarrett Guarantano play large second-half minutes if the Vols are up big? I’d like to think so, but I’ve been wrong
before last week. We’ll see.
4 — The number of catches sophomore Marquez Callaway had in a breakout performance Monday, and a number Callaway will probably replicate (if not exceed) Saturday as the offense tries to get in rhythm much faster than they did against Georgia Tech.
43 — The number of rushing attempts Indiana State had in a 22-20 loss to Eastern Illinois last week. The Sycamores only emerged with 160 rushing yards, though, so it wasn’t exactly an effective dose of running. Tennessee will be thankful to hear that.
68 — The number of 2016 receptions from players who are still on Tennessee’s roster and aren’t Jauan Jennings, who is out indefinitely with a wrist injury. Ethan Wolf had 21, Tyler Byrd had 15, Josh Smith had 13, Brandon Johnson had 7 and five others had 6 or less receptions.
127 — Tennessee’s rushing yards allowed (535, a school record) on Monday ranks 127th of 127 classified FBS teams. Temple allowed the next-most, a 422-yard performance from Notre Dame.
133 — The number of passing yards the Sycamores put together alongside the 160 rushing yards in last week’s loss. This won’t be a prolific offensive attack coming to Knoxville.
330.2 — The average rushing yards per game Tennessee has allowed in its last five games (Kentucky, Missouri, Vanderbilt, Nebraska and Georgia Tech.) Conversely, the Vols have averaged 263.2 rushing yards themselves.
687 — The difference in rushing yards allowed by the Sycamores last season and the yards that Indiana State rushed for. Teams out-rushed them 2,028 to 1,341. That’s not ideal for any team.
2,559 — The number of 2016 passing yards for Indiana State redshirt junior Isaac Harker. Despite those numbers, though, Harker was pulled before the last series of the first half in the Sycamores’ opening game last Thursday in favor of redshirt freshman Cade Sparks. We don’t know which quarterback the Vols will primarily see Saturday, but it probably won’t matter: The two combined to go just 7 for 19 during the game.
The Vols take on Indiana State at 4 p.m. Saturday, and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.