The first three weeks of the season have come and gone for Tennessee. Now the Vols (5-2, 2-2 SEC) find themselves on their bye week, giving them much-needed time to regroup and recover.
Let’s breakdown the Vols’ road to this point of the season.
762,330: So far this season, the Vols have seen record breaking attendance on the road and in Neyland Stadium. Tennessee has hosted two sold-out SEC matchups against rivals Florida and Alabama, with a total home attendance of 406,346. On the road and at neutral-site games, the attendance has totaled up to 355, 984. And most of that number comes from two games alone — at Kyle Field against Texas A&M and at “The Last Great Colosseum” for the Battle of Bristol against Virginia Tech.
213: Tennessee has outscored opponents 213-209. The small differential in scoring has proven to be interesting for the Vols this season, especially when almost all of their games have been looked at as a tale of two halves. In the first half of games this season, the Vols were outscored 119-65. The second half and overtime has found them turning the game around, outscoring their opponents 148-90. After a 2015 season where most of the concerns for the team fell on not being able to close out games, the Vols have owned the fourth quarter in 2016, winning the scoring battle 90-42.
4: The five wins that Tennessee has under its belt up to this point did not come easy. Four of those wins were come-from-behind victories. Of those four, the Vols were down at the half in three games and had to make up quite a bit of ground.
2,755: Coming into the season, the Vols offense was the talk of the team with quarterback Josh Dobbs entering his senior year and the running back tandem of Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara leading the way. Over the first seven games, the Vols offensive line found itself struggling through injuries and blocking for the aforementioned trio. Despite all of that, the offense has collected 2,755 total yards — 1,568 through the air and 1,187 on the ground with Hurd, Kamara, and Dobbs leading the way in rushes.
6: The SEC awards numerous honors every week in the season, and in the first seven weeks, the Vols have received six awards. Josh Dobbs received Offensive Player of the Week after the win over Florida. Micah Abernathy found himself being named the Defensive Player of the Week after his stellar performance at the Battle of Bristol. Riley Lovingood was named the Co-Special Teams Player of the Week after the Georgia win. The one Tennessee player who has been racking up honors this season has been Derek Barnett, getting honored by the SEC three different times this season — Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week following the victory against Florida, Defensive Player of the Week after the win in Athens and his most recent honor of Defensive Lineman of the Week after the loss to Alabama.
305: Speaking of Derek Barnett, he and the Tennessee defense has been quite impressive since Bob Shoop joined the staff as Defensive Coordinator. So far, the Vols lead the SEC in solo tackles with 305. They are second in the SEC in total tackles with 496, just behind Ole Miss at 504.
11: The Vols entered the season on a six-game winning streak. That win streak grew to 11 after Tennessee won its first five games. The streak came to an end with the 45-38 double-overtime loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 8. The 11-game win streak was the fifth-largest win streak in school history. It was the longest active streak behind Alabama. For Tennessee, it was also the longest win streak since 1999 — a 14-game win streak that spanned from the 1998 season into 1999.
After the bye week, the Vols will head to Columbia, South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks (2-4, 1-4 SEC).
Edited by Adam Milliken
Featured image by Donald Page, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics