Sept. 24, 2012
By Brian Rice
Each week, UTSports.com takes a look at the numbers from the weekend past and the weekend ahead in Four Downs. This week, a lot of plays, a few great kicks and a whole bunch of consecutives involving teams from Ohio.
First Down: 89 - Offensive Plays Run by Tennessee vs. Akron
Derek Dooley said it best in the postgame press conference Saturday night when he said "89 plays, that's a lot," with a strong emphasis on the final word. 89 is a huge number for offensive plays, not only a season high, but the most for the Volunteers in a game in Dooley's tenure.
UT's previous high under Dooley was 79 in the season opener against NC State. The Vols ran 78 plays in a win over Middle Tennessee State, 77 in a loss to Arkansas and 76 in a victory over Cincinnati, all last season.
The last time the Vols ran more than 80 plays was in a 2006 win over Memphis with 81.
Other notable 80+ play performances in recent years include 83 in a home victory over Ole Miss in 2005, 84 in the 2002 season opening win at what is now LP Field in Nashville over Wyoming and 85 in the Monday night overtime win over LSU in Baton Rouge in 2005.
The Tennessee record for plays in a game is 95 against Mississippi State in 1991.
Second Down: 4 - Derrick Brodus Field goals
The junior walk-on from Maryville was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals on the night, which doubled his previous career total of two. Brodus has yet to miss a field goal in six attempts over the past two seasons, with a career-long of 37 yards set on Saturday night. The four field goals matched the most in a game by a Vol since Daniel Lincoln hit four against Mississippi State in 2007.
By adding five extra points, Brodus tied the Tennessee record for points scored in a game by a kicker with 17. The mark had been achieved three times previous, by Alex Walls in 2002, Fuad Reveiz in 1982 and Alan Duncan in 1978. His 17 points also ties for the most points scored by a kicker in the NCAA thus far in 2012.
Third Down: Quick Hits
3-0 - Tennessee's record against Akron coach Terry Bowden after Saturday's game. Bowden, best known for his successful tenure as head coach at Auburn, took over on the Plains a year after SEC expansion ended the Vols' annual rivalry with the Tigers. The teams met in each of the final two years of Bowden's career at Auburn.
Peyton Manning led the way in a 30-29 comeback win in the 1997 SEC Championship game in the teams' first meeting since expansion. A year later, Tennessee overcame the loss of Jamal Lewis to a season-ending knee injury in the first half and playing without senior captain Al Wilson to gut out a 17-9 win keyed by defensive end Shaun Ellis' 90-yard interception return for a touchdown and a four-down goal line stand by the Tennessee defense after a UT fumble gave Auburn the ball on the UT 1-yard line.
13 - Consecutive wins by Tennessee over teams from the state of Ohio. The Vols lost their first meeting with a team hailing from Ohio, 35-0 to Cincinnati in 1904, but have won every meeting since. Notable Ohio wins include avenging that initial game with Cincinnati last season, 45-23, and a 20-14 win over Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George and Ohio State in the 1996 Citrus Bowl following the 1995 season.
9 - Consecutive wins over non-conference foes, the longest run since the Vols went 10-0 in a stretch from 2000-02.
25 - Consecutive games won when Tennessee scores 28 points or more, dating back to 2007.
2 - 400-yard passing games by Tyler Bray after throwing for 401 against Akron. Bray and Manning are the only members of UT's 400-yard passing club, with Manning having achieved the mark on three occasions.
2 - Interceptions for Byron Moore, the first time a Tennessee player has had two INTs in a game since Eric Berry against Arkansas in 2007. Moore more than doubled his career total, as he entered the Akron game with one career interception.
3 - Second-half points allowed by the Tennessee defense. UT scored 24 points in the second half and has outscored opponents 66-44 after halftime this season.
151 - Rushing yards for Rajion Neal, a career-high for the junior and the highest total for a Tennessee back since Tauren Poole rumbled for 162 yards against Oregon in 2010. Neal's 151 yards were more than the entire UT team in all but one game in 2011.
115 - Receiving yards for Justin Hunter. The junior had his second 100+-yard game of 2012 and has had more than 70 yards receiving in all four games this season.
177 - The Vols have won all 177 games in program history when scoring 40 or more points after scoring 47 vs. Akron.
Fourth Down: A Look Ahead
20 - Meetings between Tennessee and Georgia prior to SEC expansion and divisional play in 1992. As mentioned above in the note on Terry Bowden, prior to the SEC splitting into divisions in 1992 when the conference added Arkansas and South Carolina, Auburn was a yearly rival for Tennessee, while Georgia was not. In his 25-year coaching career at Georgia, Vince Dooley only faced Tennessee seven times.
21 - Wins for UT in the series with the Bulldogs. The Vols won nine-straight meetings from 1989-1999, but the Bulldogs are 8-4 since breaking the streak in 2000.
2006 - The last time Tennessee knocked off a Top-10 opponent, which just happened to be Georgia in Athens, 51-33.