Sunday, March 26, 2023
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By The Numbers: Tennessee’s defense might be better against the run than you think

For all of the talk about Tennessee’s struggles in the secondary, the Vols have not had issues up front, especially stopping the run.

Tennessee’s defense is ranked second in the SEC in rushing defense, allowing 89.2 yards per game. Only Alabama is better, allowing 84.5 yards per game. Of course, the case could be made that teams don’t run against the Vols nearly as often because their pass defense allows 307.4 yards per game, which is 13th in the SEC. Only Vanderbilt is worse, allowing 324 yards passing per game.

Stopping the run will be key against Alabama, especially if Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Bryce Young isn’t able to play. Young, who is recovering from a shoulder injury, did not play against Texas A&M last week and was replaced by Jalen Milroe. Alabama, with or without Young, likes to run the football. The Crimson Tide is first in the SEC in rushing yards with 257 yards per game.

Tennessee and Alabama play at 3:30 on Saturday in Neyland Stadium.

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