Season Record: 2-0
Last Week's Opponent: Arkansas State (W 34-19)
Points Scored Per Game: 36 (Ranks 51st Nationally)
Points Allowed Per Game: 13 (Ranks 21st Nationally)
Last Meeting With Sooners: January 1, 1967 (L 26-24)
On Saturday night the Sooners and Tennessee Volunteers will meet in the regular season for the very first time. The two have a 1-and-1 record against each other with both of their previous meetings taking place in the Orange Bowl. Tennessee won the first ever meeting between the two schools by shutting out the Sooners 17-0 on January 2, 1938. Nearly thirty years later it would be Oklahoma getting the best of the Vols. Now these two historic programs are set to square off once again in a series that will have OU taking a return trip to Knoxville in 2015.
The Tennessee offense runs through the hands of senior quarterback Justin Worley who has completed nearly 65% of his passes this season for 520 yards, 5 scores and 1 interception. His top receiver this season has been Pig Howard who has hauled in nine passes for 67 yards. However, the most productive receivers have been Marquez North (8 receptions, 106 yards, 2 TDs) and Von Pearson (7 receptions, 98 yards, 1 TD). Worley has a good setup and nice touch on the ball. He's also mobile enough to make plays with his legs and has the ability to square his shoulders and make a pass on the run. However, getting him on the run may be Oklahoma's best option. He's been sacked four times in two games and the Tennessee offensive line could be the chink in the armor that the Sooner defense is looking for. The Vols are averaging 3.3 yards per carry and are led by Jalen Hurd (34 carries, 112 yards, 1 TD) and Marlin Lane (24 carries, 95 yards, 1 TD). This game absolutely looks to be another test for an Oklahoma secondary that could be a man down in Zack Sanchez.
Senior linebacker A.J. Johnson leads the Tennessee defense with 18 total tackles and is one of two players on the defense with an interception. The Vols. have recorded four sacks through their first two games, led by junior Owen Williams who is a JUCO transfer from Butler Community College (Kansas). The Tennessee defense has made a total of 15 tackles behind the line of scrimmage this season and use a combination of speed and power to get there. Sophomore linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin has recorded a team high 2.5 tackles for loss.
Arkansas State had some success on the ground against Tennessee's defense. The Red Wolves ran the ball for an average of 3.4 yards per carry and were led by Fredi Knighten who carried the ball 14 times for 65 yards.
Tennessee ranks sixth in the SEC in scoring defense (13 PPG), fifth against the pass and sixth against the rush.
Head Coach Butch Jones is in his second season in Knoxville and is looking to improve on last year's 5-7 record. Interesting fact here is that the Vols have dropped seven straight road openers with their last win being the first road of the 2006 season (41-7) at Memphis.