Its Football Time in Tennessee: Vols vs. UConn Huskies Preview (11/4/23)
Recently: Tennessee (#17, 6-2, 3-2) got a much-needed SEC road win in Lexington, beating Kentucky 33-27. It was UT's 3rd consecutive win against the Cats, and 36 of the last 40 in the series for the Vols. Sunrise, sunset.
Meanwhile UConn (NR, 1-7) gave up 246 rushing yards to Boston College and only ran 43 plays to the Eagles' 83, yet somehow only lost to BC by a touchdown, 14-21. Close contests have been a theme this season for UConn with five of the Huskies' eight games being decided by 7 points or less.
Previously on Vols vs. Huskies: This will be the first football meeting between the two schools. There is of course a storied women's basketball rivalry, fueled by the fact that UConn's growing success in the 90s was measured against Pat Summitt's long-established program, and by the fact that Geno Auriemma--and I can't stress this enough--is a massive prick.
Five Factor Preview
Tennessee Offense vs. UConn Defense
The Huskies' defense is led by linebacker Jackson Mitchell, who is 13th nationally in tackles per game with 10.1. Mitchell was a Butkus Award semifinalist in 2022. DL Jelani Stafford has 8 TFL this season and 6 touchdowns, being used as a RB in UConn's short-yardage package. The UConn defense has been lackluster in general, but the Huskies have been winning turnover battles of late, forcing 9 turnovers in the last 4 games and going +4 in takeaways in that same stretch.
Tennessee Defense vs. UConn Offense