TENNESSEE VS. ALABAMA -- GAME PREVIEW
 
 

Oct. 16, 2005

    

No. 17/18 Tennessee (3-2) vs. No. 5 Alabama (6-0)

QUICK FACTS

Game 6

Date: Oct. 22, 2005
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. (EDT)
Television: CBS
Facility: Bryant-Denny Stadium (83,818)
The Alabama Series
Overall: Alabama leads 43-37-7
at Tuscaloosa: UT leads 4-2
at Knoxville: UT leads 20-19-1
at Birmingham: UA leads 21-14-6
Next Game
Oct. 29 vs. South Carolina (TBA)
Rankings
Associated Press Poll
UT: 17th
/ Alabama: 5th
ESPN/USA Today-Coaches Poll
UT: 18th
/ Alabama: 5th
Harris Interactive Poll
UT: 21st
/ Alabama: 7th
Bowl Championship Series (First Poll Oct. 17)
UT: --
/ Alabama: --
RADIO:
Vol Network: Bob Kesling, Tim Priest and Jeff Francis (sideline).
Listen to Vol Network Broadcast | Sirius Channel 121
Tennessee StadiumCast 89.7 FM

Crimson Tide Sports Network: Eli Gold, Kenny Stabler and Tom Roberts.

TELEVISION:
CBS: Verne Lundquist, Todd Blackledge and Tracy Wolfson.

LIVE STATS:
Game Stats

THE COACHES:
Tennessee Volunteers
Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee 1972)
Overall Record: 126-33 (.792 / 14th year)
At Tennessee: 126-33 (.792 / 14th year)
Versus Alabama: 10-2
Schedule
Statistics
Roster

Alabama Crimson Tide
Mike Shula (Alabama 1987)
Overall Record: 16-15 (.516 / 3rd year)
At Alabama: 16-15 (.516 / 3rd year)
Versus Tennessee: 0-2
Schedule
Statistics
Roster

FEATURES
 
GAME NOTES
Jayson Swain ranks second on the team in receiving yards and yards per catch.

SERIES HISTORY
Tennessee travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to renew one of most storied rivalries in all of college football when it faces Alabama Oct. 22. The Crimson Tide leads the all-time series with the Volunteers 43-37-7, dating to 1901. Tennessee has won nine of the last 10 meetings, however, including a 51-43 five-overtime triumph in its last trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium Oct. 25, 2003.

Vols head coach Phillip Fulmer is a perfect 2-0 against Alabama's third-year coach Mike Shula. Fulmer boasts a 10-2 record versus the Crimson Tide and an unblemished 3-0 mark in Tuscaloosa. In the Fulmer era (1993-present), Tennessee averages 26.8 points per game against Alabama.

The Vols' 2005 roster includes four players from the state of Alabama: senior DB Jason Allen (Muscle Shoals), freshman DE Wes Brown (Athens), junior OG Arron Sears (Russellville) and junior WR Jayson Swain (Hunstville).

TWO-TIME CAPTAIN, LEADING CAREER TACKLER ALLEN OUT FOR SEASON
Tennessee's defensive charges were dealt a serious blow during the Vols' game against Georgia Oct. 8, as senior co-captain Jason Allen suffered a season-ending hip injury while tackling Bulldogs tight end Leonard Pope in the second quarter.

With 220 tackles to his credit, Allen was UT's active career leader. He also led all active Vols with 18 career PBUs. He has played in 44 games during his career and has four interceptions and four forced fumbles.

As a safety in 2004, Allen led the SEC with 123 tackles. He returned to his favored cornerback position for the Vols this season after garnering first-team All-SEC acclaim for his efforts as a junior.

A preseason All-America selection, Allen is one of six Vols who have already earned a bachelor's degree (Sport management) He is currently pursuing a second degree in Child and family studies.

ALABAMA MARKS FOURTH TOP-10 OPPONENT IN LAST FIVE GAMES
Tennessee's contest vs. No. 6 Alabama marks the fourth time in the last five games that the Vols have faced a top-10 opponent. UT lost to No. 6 Florida 16-7 in Gainesville Sept. 17, defeated No. 4 LSU 30-27 in overtime Sept. 26 in Baton Rouge and then fell to No. 5 Georgia 27-14 in Knoxville Oct. 8.

The Vols averaged 17.0 points in those three contests, while their opponents averaged 23.3 points.

The only other year in which UT faced four top-10 opponents in the regular season was 1990, and the Vols went 1-1-2 in those contests on their way to a 9-2-2 overall record and the SEC Championship. Tennessee opened the 1990 season with a 31-31 tie vs. No. 5 Colorado in the Pigskin Classic in Anaheim, Calif. The Vols then battled No. 3 Auburn to a 26-26 tie on the road before defeating No. 9 Florida at home 45-3. A home game against top-ranked Notre Dame rounded out UT's top-10 slate that season, and the Vols fell by a score of 34-29, marking their second and final loss of the year.

Including bowl games, Tennessee has squared off against four top-10 teams in the same season in 1985, 1989, 1998 and 1999.

DAUNTING RUSHING DEFENSE
The Volunteers defense has not allowed an individual opposing player to reach the 100-yard rushing mark this season. The leading rusher on each of the teams Tennessee has faced thus far has averaged a net rushing total of just 66.8 yards.

Georgia's Thomas Brown is the leading ground-gainer against the Vols this season, as he managed 94 rushing yards Oct. 8.

Tennessee ranks fourth in the Southeastern Conference and 15th nationally with a rushing defense that allows an average of just 93.4 yards per game.

UT HAS ALLOWED NO PASSING TOUCHDOWNS IN SEC PLAY
In 2004, Tennessee's defensive secondary allowed seven passing TDs through the first five games of the season. This year, however, the Vols have allowed jut one TD pass in five outings (UAB threw a 27-yard TD pass in the season-opener).

This season marks the first time in the Fulmer era (1993-present) that Tennessee has not allowed a passing TD through its first four SEC games.

One reason for the lack of opponents' scoring strikes could be the disruptive nature of UT's defensive front, which has logged 14 sacks and 24 QB hurries so far this season.

SIMON, GAITHER AMONG SEC TACKLES LEADERS
Senior linebackers Kevin Simon and Omar Gaither rank fourth and ninth, respectively, on the 2005 SEC tackles leaderboard. Simon averages 9.2 stops per game, while Gaither averages 8.4 tackles. The Vols seniors combine to average 17.6 tackles per game.

Gaither's two forced fumbles rank tied for second in the league.

DEEP RECEIVING CORPS SHARING CATCHES, RACING FOR 1,000
Tennessee's top-five wide receivers this season -- seniors C.J. Fayton and Chris Hannon, juniors Bret Smith and Jayson Swain and sophomore Robert Meachem -- are all within three catches and 34 yards of one another statistically. Fayton leads the group in both receptions (16) and yards (190), but Meachem's 13.5-yard average per catch is tops among the group.

Each of those five receivers is also steadily working towards the 1,000 career receiving yard milestone. Fayton leads that charge with 899 yards followed by Swain (837), Hannon (738), Meachem (635) and Smith (595).

WILHOIT 10th ON UT's CAREER SCORING LIST
Junior placekicker James Wilhoit ranks 10th on Tennessee's all-time career scoring charts with 189 points. The Hendersonville, Tenn., native needs nine points to tie Vols All-America Beattie Feathers (1931-33) for ninth place on the Vols' all-time list.

Wilhoit is 31-for-49 on field-goal attempts during his career and 96-of-98 on extra-point tries.

2005 VOLS NOTCH PROGRAM'S 750th ALL-TIME WIN
Tennessee's win over Mississippi Oct. 1 was a noteworthy milestone, as it marked the 750th all-time victory in the storied history of the Volunteers football program.

UT's first all-time win was a 25-0 victory over Maryville in Maryville, Tenn., Oct. 15, 1892.

RIGGS POISED TO JOIN ELITE 100-YARD-GAME COMPANY
Senior tailback Gerald Riggs Jr. has tallied eight career 100-yard games, including five in the Vols' last nine contests, dating to last season. Riggs needs just two more 100-yard outings to join the six Tennessee rushers who have surpassed the century mark in at least 10 games during their respective careers.

Current Tennessee Titan Travis Henry holds the UT career record with 15 100-yard games. The other backs with double-digit 100-yard games are: Jay Graham - 14; Jamal Lewis - 13; Johnnie Jones - 13; Reggie Cobb - 10; James Stewart - 10).

SIX VOLS HAVE ALREADY EARNED BACHELOR'S DEGREES
Tennessee ranks tied for fourth in the Southeastern Conference and tied for 10th nationally with six players on its current roster who have already earned their bachelor's degrees. The Vols' graduates include Jason Allen, Rick Clausen, C.J. Fayton, Richie Gandy, Jason Mitchell and walk-on Sam Wantland.

TENNESSEE BOASTS TRIO OF PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAS
Three different Vols earned 19 preseason All-America honors from various publications.
DB Jason Allen - Athlon, CBSsportline.com, Lindy's (2nd), Nationalchamps.net, Playboy, Rivals.com (2nd), Sports Illustrated, Street & Smith's
DE Parys Haralson - Athlon (2nd), Sporting News (2nd)
DT Jesse Mahelona - Athlon, Blue Ribbon, Lindy's, Nationalchamps.net, Playboy, Rivals.com, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, Street & Smith's

LEAGUE MEDIA PICKS VOLS TO WIN 2005 SEC CHAMPIONSHIP
Tennessee received 37 of 87 votes cast by media attending the 2005 Southeastern Conference Football Media Days to win the 2005 SEC Championship. In addition, nine Vols were named to the media's preseason All-SEC squads, including first-teamers Jason Allen, Parys Haralson, Jesse Mahelona, Gerald Riggs Jr. and Arron Sears. Cody Douglas, Omar Gaither, Kevin Simon and James Wilhoit were all selected as second-team honorees.

10 VOLS EARN COACHES' PRESEASON ALL-SEC HONORS
Four Tennessee Volunteers--tailback Gerald Riggs Jr., offensive lineman Arron Sears, defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona and defensive back Jason Allen--garnered first-team Preseason All-Southeastern Conference honors as voted on by the league coaches.

Tennessee ranked third in the SEC with 10 total players named to the three teams, while UT's four first-team selections trailed only Auburn's six.

A pair of Vols offensive linemen made the second and third teams, respectively, in Cody Douglas and Rob Smith. Defensive end Parys Haralson and linebackers Kevin Simon and Omar Gaither were each placed on the second-team defense. Placekicker James Wilhoit earned second-team special teams recognition.

QUARTERBACKS
Senior Rick Clausen made his third start of the year when UT hosted Georgia Oct. 8, completing 21 of 36 passes for 310 yards ... Clausen's efficiency stands at 121.92 which ranks 8th in the SEC ... Sophomore Erik Ainge has started two games this season but has not played in the Vols' last two contests ... Clausen has recorded 929 yards and three TDs through the air, while Ainge has thrown for 258 yards and two scores ... Highly touted incoming freshman Jonathan Crompton is redshirting this season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

TAILBACKS
Senior tailback Gerald Riggs Jr. ranks third in the SEC with a per-game rushing average of 92.4 yards ... He also averages 4.2 yards per carry this season ... Riggs has also developed into a receiving threat this season, having recorded nine receptions for 64 yards ... Redshirt freshman Arian Foster has gained 84 yards on 22 carries through UT's first five games ... True freshman Montario Hardesty is out for the season with a knee injury suffered vs. Mississippi Oct. 1 ... Junior fullback Cory Anderson has eight catches for 77 yards this season.

WIDE RECEIVERS
Senior C.J. Fayton leads the Vols this season with 16 catches for 190 yards and one TD, but he missed the Georgia game with an ankle injury ... Junior Bret Smith is the only Vol with multiple TD catches this season (2) ... Sophomore Robert Meachem averages 13.5 yards on his 13 catches this year and is the only Vol with multiple receptions in every game ... Senior Chris Hannon has 15 catches for 156 yards on the year (a 10.4-yard average) ... Junior Jayson Swain has 14 catches for 184 yards (a 13.1-yard average) ... Sophomore Chris Brown is the only Vols tight end to catch a pass this season; he has six receptions for 52 yards ... Tennessee averages 11.3 yards per catch this season.

OFFENSIVE LINE
The return of senior center Richie Gandy to the starting lineup vs. Georgia marked the first time since the Florida game that the Vols fielded their preseason projected starters along the offensive front (and just the second time all season) ... Right tackle is the only O-line position at which the same player has started in all five games (Albert Toeaina) ... UT averages 98.8 rushing yards per game (11th in the SEC) and is gaining 2.9 yards per attempt ... The Vols have allowed nine sacks this season.

DEFENSIVE LINE
Tennessee's defensive front, in the opinions of some publications, entered the season as the best in the nation ... Thus far, the unit has lived up to the hype, allowing just 93.4 rushing yards per game (fourth in the SEC) and recording 14 sacks ... Senior co-captain Parys Haralson has recorded multiple TFLs in each of UT's last three games ... All-America defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona has two sacks and five TFLs this season ... Mahelona recorded his first career forced fumble vs. Georgia ... Senior end Jason Hall logged five stops and two TFLs vs. Georgia and has 4.5 TFLs on the year ... Junior tackle Tony McDaniel has broken up a pass in each of the last three games ... Junior tackle Justin Harrell leads the team with six QB hurries this season.

LINEBACKERS
Senior linebackers Omar Gaither (10) and Kevin Simon (15) each turned in double-digit tackle efforts vs. Georgia ... Simon leads the Vols with 46 stops on the year, and Gaither ranks second on the squad with 42 tackles ... Senior Jason Mitchell has 19 tackles this season ... Sophomore Ryan Karl leads the Vols with five special teams tackles ... Redshirt freshman Jerod Mayo returned to action vs. Georgia after missing the Mississippi game with an injury.

SECONDARY
Two-time co-captain and preseason All-America defensive back Jason Allen was lost for the season after suffering a hip injury vs. Georgia ... Sophomore Inquoris Johnson is expected to start in Allen's place ... Junior defensive back Jonathan Wade has an INT in each of the last two games and returned both inside to the opponents' 5-yard line ... Sophomore safety Jonathan Hefney set a career high with 14 tackles vs. Georgia and ranks fourth on the team with 33 tackles on the year ... Junior safety Antwan Stewart recorded a career-high six tackles vs. Georgia ... Tennessee is allowing 205.2 passing yards per game and has given up just one passing TD on the year (vs. UAB).

SPECIAL TEAMS
Junior placekicker James Wilhoit is 4-of-8 on FG attempts this season and has had two FG tries blocked ... Five of Wilhoit's last eight kickoffs have gone for touchbacks ... Redshirt freshman punter Britton Colquitt is averaging 39.8 yards per punt ... Tennessee's kick-return average stands at 16.6 yards, and the Vols are averaging 6.2 on punt returns ... Elusive true freshman Lucas Taylor has earned a spot as one of UT's top returners and averages 19.3 yards on kick returns and 6.6 yards on punt returns ... Tennessee's opponents average 19.0 and 17.0 yards on kickoff and punt returns, respectively.

UP NEXT
Tennessee returns to Neyland Stadium for its fourth home contest of the season when it plays host to SEC Eastern Division rival South Carolina Oct. 29. The Volunteers hold a 19-2-2 all-time lead in the series, dating to 1903.

Tennessee has won its last 12 games vs. the Gamecocks, as UT head coach Phillip Fulmer has never lost to South Carolina. Under Fulmer, the Vols average 32.7 points per game against South Carolina.

Fulmer is 2-7 all-time against first-year Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier, with all previous meetings coming when Spurrier was head coach at Florida.

The Vols' 2005 roster includes seven players from the state of South Carolina: junior DT Tony McDaniel (Columbia), redshirt freshman DE Robert Ayers (Clio), senior C Richie Gandy (Darlington), redshirt freshman DB Sinclair Cannon (Greer), sophomore DB Jonathan Hefney (Rock Hill), sophomore OT Eric Young (Union) and walk-on TE Brett Weyman (Charleston).

OVERTIME SUCCESS
Since the NCAA established a tiebreaker system for Division I in 1996, Tennessee is 5-1 overtime contests. The Vols have won the coin toss four times and chosen to play defense three times. The only time UT chose offense after winning the toss was against Florida in 1998.

Tennessee has played the second and third-longest overtime games in NCAA history at six (Arkansas 2002) and five periods (Alabama 2003).

Date Opponent OTs Coin Toss Game-Winning Play Final Score
9/19/1998 Florida 1 W (off) Hall 41 field goal 20-17 W
9/30/2000 at LSU 1 W (def) Royal 25 pass from Davey 31-38 L
10/5/2002 Arkansas 6 L (off) Witten 25 pass from Clausen 41-38 W
9/27/2003 S. Carolina 1 W (def) Banks 4 pass from Clausen 23-20 W
10/25/2003 at Alabama 5 L (off) Clausen 1 run (2pt conv.) 51-43 W
9/26/2005 at LSU 1 W (def) Riggs 1 run 30-27 W


 

 


 
Football Home