Published: Thursday, September 29, 2011
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Current Record: 2-1 (0-1 Southeastern Conference)
2010 Record: 6-7 (3-5 SEC)
First meeting between the two teams
Three Volunteers to Watch:
QB Tyler Bray: Buffalo will have to defend against the most lethal aerial assault it has seen all season, and Bray is at the forefront of it. The sophomore is second in SEC in passing yards (986 yards) and touchdowns (10), and he leads the conference in quarterback rating (167.1). Bray is coming off a bye week and is going to come out guns a-blazing against the Bulls.
WR Da'Rick Rogers: Rogers is Bray's main target, especially when it comes to scoring. The sophomore's four touchdowns rank first in the SEC and he is part of the second wide receiving tandem to have 100 yards in back-to-back games. Look for him to step up in wide receiver Justin Hunter's absence.
TE Mychal Rivera: Bray also has a reliable target in Rivera. In Tennessee's loss against Florida (33-23), Rivera had five catches for 71 yards and one touchdown. The Bulls haven't faced any particularly strong tight ends this season, and they will change up their strategy to contain this 6-foot-3 threat.
The Bulls win if... they score. The Volunteers' dazzling passing attack cannot totally make up for its lackluster defense. Chazz Anderson has to take command of the Bulls' offense and put points on the board quickly and often. Anderson needs to be ready for a shootout on Saturday in order for Buffalo to pull of the upset.
The Volunteers win if… Rogers and Rivera have a big game. The loss of Justin Hunter is a huge detriment to Tennessee, as seen in its loss to Florida. Rogers and Rivera are going to have more attention headed their way on game day, but if any of the receivers have a big day, the Bulls will be heading back home with a loss.
The Bulls do have a strong defense, but that ‘D' can only do so much against such an offensive powerhouse. Buffalo can win if it can hold up against Tennessee in a shootout. Unfortunately for the Bulls, the offense has been inconsistent thus far, and I'm not sure if it will show up on Saturday. The 100,000 raucous faithful fans at Neyland Stadium don't help much either. Buffalo will put up a fight, but expect Bray and the Volunteers to thrive.
Senior Sports Editor
I'm expecting this game to look pretty similar to the Pittsburgh game. The Bulls will put a little scare in Tennessee because, well, they're better than their record indicates. Branden Oliver, Khalil Mack and Alex Neutz are better than the guys who will draw their assignments on Tennessee. But all in all, Tennessee is an SEC team and an SEC team that has only lost to an impressive Florida squad. The Vols will wear down the Bulls in what I expect to be a high-scoring game.