Four Downs: APSU By The Numbers

Sep 2, 2013

By Brian Rice

Each week, takes a look at the numbers from the weekend past and the weekend ahead in Four Downs. This week, a potent ground attack, a lot of zeroes and a milestone win to keep a streak alive.

First Down: 315 - Rushing Yards

The 315 yards picked up on the ground by Tennessee marked the highest total since the Vols ran for 332 against UT-Martin in the 2010 season opener. No UT squad had rushed for over 300 yards in that time. In fact, the Vols only rushed for 200+ yards twice in the interim, 232 against Akron and 213 at Mississippi State, both last season.

Tennessee ran for those yards on 52 carries, the most for a Vol team in a single game since six players combined to carry the ball 53 times against Kentucky in 2008.

Senior Rajion Neal led the way with 141 yards on 16 carries. It marked the third 100-yard game of his career, after having back-to-back 100-yard games against Akron and Georgia in 2012. Neal crossed the 100-yard make with his final carry of the first quarter, a 9-yard run to the APSU 23.

Neal's 47-yard touchdown run for the initial UT score of the season was the longest carry of his career, the previous high being a 29-yard run in the aforementioned Akron game last season.

Redshirt junior Deanthonie Summerhill was UT's second-leading rusher, picking up 67 yards on the first nine carries of his Tennessee career in second-half action.

Junior Marlin Lane ran for just 38 yards in limited first half time, but scored two touchdowns on six carries. It was the third multi-TD game for Lane, who also ran for a pair of scores against Troy last season and had a TD rushing and receiving in the first game of his UT career, against Montana in 2011.

Second Down: 0 - Points And More

Zero came up a lot in the aftermath of the Tennessee-Austin Peay game on Saturday. Obviously, the final tally next to the "APSU" on the scoreboard was the most prominent of all. The game marked the first time Austin Peay had been shut out since Sept. 24, 2005, a stretch of 84 games since a 54-0 blanking at the hands of Drake.

Tennessee committed zero penalties in the game, the first time a UT team has finished a game flag-free since the 2007 SEC Championship Game against LSU.

The Volunteers had zero punts in the first half, converting all six offensive possessions for touchdowns.

A couple of other zeroes, those in the loss column. Tennessee has never lost a game in the month of August, a 7-0-1 record all-time. The Volunteers are 4-0 on August 31. This marked the second-straight year UT played an August game, the first time the Vols had played back-to-back August games since 2002-03.

Third Down: Quick Hits

800 - Wins in program history, making Tennessee the eighth program to reach that plateau.

5 - Consecutive wins by Volunteer head coaches in their first game at Tennessee. Jim Chaney won his only game as head coach in the 2012 finale vs. Kentucky. Derek Dooley defeated UT Martin, 50-0 in his debut and Lane Kiffin took down Western Kentucky, 63-7. Phillip Fulmer won his first game at Tennessee, however you choose to calculate it. Fulmer defeated Southwestern Louisiana, 38-3, in 1992, the first game credited to his career record, as interim coach filling in for Johnny Majors. Fulmer won the 1993 Hall of Fame Bowl, 38-23, over Boston College after being named head coach after the 1992 season. Fulmer also won his regular-season debut in 1993, 50-0 over Louisiana Tech.

Dating back to J.A. Pierce taking over as the first full-time coach in Tennessee history in 1899, all but four of the 24 Volunteer coaches have won their debuts at UT. Andrew Stone in 1910, Harvey Robinson in 1953, Wyatt in 1955 and Majors in 1977 each saw their teams fall in their respective openers.

7 - Consecutive possessions in which Tennessee scored, including a perfect six-for-six in the first half, all touchdowns. Michael Palardy hit a 37-yard field goal on the opening possession of the second half to cap the scoring for UT.

11 - First Downs allowed by the UT defense, the fewest allowed by Tennessee since holding Buffalo to 10 first downs in 2010. The Vols held just two opponents, Akron (18) and Vanderbilt (15), under 20 first downs in 2012.

30 - First downs picked up by the Tennessee offense. UT crossed the 30 first down mark three times in 2012, against Akron (33), Troy (35) and Missouri (32).

19 - Consecutive home openers won by Tennessee, a run that started in 1995.

23 - Volunteer players that saw their first game action on Saturday. That number includes 11 true freshmen that appeared in the game.

3 - Touchdown passes for Justin Worley, who entered the game with just one TD toss in his career.

2 - Times Austin Peay crossed the 50 yard line, once in each half.

1 - Interceptions by Malik Foreman. By ending APSU's deepest venture into UT territory with an interception at the 6-yard line, Foreman became the first Volunteer freshman to record an interception in a season opener since Dewayne Goodrich picked off a pass against UNLV in 1996.

1 - Interceptions for Daniel Hood. The pick off a pass he deflected was the first of his career, the forst INT of the season for UT and the first INT by a defensive lineman at Tennessee since Malik Jackson returned a pick 44 yards at Memphis in 2010.

1 - Career TDs for Devrin Young. Mark this in the "Surprising" category. Young, who has seemingly been all over the field in his three seasons in orange, scored his first TD as a Vol with a 9-yard TD grab in the first quarter. He also had a 58-yard kick return to open play in the second half, the second-longest return of his career.

22 - Age of Vol receiver Jacob Carter, who celebrated his birthday Saturday by hauling in 14-yard pass to aid a UT scoring drive in the first quarter.


Fourth Down: A Look Ahead

1-0 - Tennessee's all-time record against Western Kentucky, the lone meeting coming in 2009.

2 - Consecutive wins over SEC teams for the Hilltoppers, after wins over Kentucky each of the last two seasons.

2 - Consecutive 2-0 starts for the Volunteers, who will look to make it three as they host WKU Saturday afternoon, when it will once again be Football Time in Tennessee!





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