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Tennessee hosts UAB Saturday evening in Knoxville

Can the Vols make it two straight wins?

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers (3-5, 2-3) welcome the UAB Blazers (6-1, 3-1 CUSA) to Neyland Stadium for a break from SEC play Saturday evening.

While an SEC team would generally have no problem with a home game against a Conference USA team, the Blazers haven’t been a run-of-the-mill Conference USA team this season. They come into this game boasting one of the nation’s best defenses.

This season, UAB is top five in the entire nation in yards per play allowed (4.1), yards per game allowed (250.6), sixth in yards per catch allowed (2.8) and 11th in points per game allowed (15.7). Granted, UAB’s schedule this season hasn’t been particularly strong (the six teams they’ve beaten have combined for eight wins this season, and two of them are winless), it’s certainly something that could be a concern for a Vols offense that hasn’t always been consistent this season.

The good news is that last week was Tennessee’s best showing of the year on offense, as Jarrett Guarantano and the Vols offense put up 41 points in a rout of South Carolina. Guarantano also suffered a hand injury against South Carolina, but will be ready to go this week, as will quarterback Brian Maurer, who missed the South Carolina game with a concussion. The Vols have been tight-lipped about which quarterback will see the brunt of the work, which will also throw the UAB defense off.

Tennessee should be fine as they take another step towards bowl eligibility. Then again, we all thought they would be fine against Georgia Southern and BYU, too.


How to watch or stream

Time: 7 p.m. ET

TV: ESPNU

Stream: WatchESPN