The sun peeks end Neyland Stadium before the university of Kentucky and also the college of Tennessee college football game on Volunteer Boulevard in Knoxville, Tenn., top top Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.

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These will certainly be the major factors in between the Tennessee football Volunteers and Texas A&M.

Saturday marks an elderly Day for an uncertain amount that Tennessee soccer players, as they might all return for following year. Heading into Neyland stadion in Knoxville, Tenn. Space Jimbo Fisher’s No. 5 ranked Texas A&M Aggies, who space still thinking about the possibility of do the university Football Playoff if a few things break their way.

The Vols obviously have actually their own motivational issues. Morale is as low as feasible with a shedding season guaranteed, Jeremy Pruitt under significant fire and this year gift a major disappointment given the preseason expectations. A 42-17 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores wasn’t going to change any of that.

On the other hand, the Texas A&M Aggies space thinking around the university Football Playoff. With no SEC Championship to play for, your fate is in the hands of the committee and what happens in other places on Saturday.

Don’t forget that the playoff committee ranked A&M at No. 5 on Tuesday. A ns by the Ohio State Buckeyes can move them to No. 4. OSU encounters the No. 14 ranked Northwestern Wildcats in the huge Ten Championship. The game, by the way, is at noon, the same time UT and A&M play. How can Jimbo Fisher’s team remain concentrated when that’s walk on? focus will be an essential in this one.


PITTSBURGH, PA – august 26: A penalty flag is viewed uring a preseason game in between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts on respectable 26, 2017 at Heinz field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) *** Local inscription ***

5. I beg your pardon team will be an ext prone to penalties?

This isn’t to to speak Tennessee soccer is an excellent at reduce penalties. The Vols room 10th in the SEC in fewest punish yards per game, averaging 49.67 every time they take the field. It can be better, however it’s no horrendous.

When girlfriend look in ~ them, though, they room week to week ~ above this and also have been every year. Dating earlier to the beginning of the year, their discipline helped them blow out the Missouri Tigers, however it played a role along through the turnovers in knocking them out of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs and also even the Kentucky Wildcats.

On the various other hand, the Texas A&M Aggies space horrendous at limiting penalties. They are dead critical in the SEC through 57.75 penalty yards every gam. Before everything shut down, they appeared to be turning a corner, committing just two penalties because that 15 yards against the southern Carolina Gamecocks. Things adjusted after their two weeks off.

Against the LSU Tigers, they had nine penalties because that 83 yards. A week later, lock showed innovation with 4 penalties because that 39 yards versus the Auburn Tigers. However, that can mean they’re due because that a flag-fueled game again. As a result, watch out Saturday.


Dec 12, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers vast receiver Jalin Hyatt (11) celebrates after a touchdown reception during the very first half versus the Vanderbilt Commodores in ~ Vanderbilt Stadium. Causing obligation Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA this particular day Sports

4. Exactly how many third downs will Vols convert?

When girlfriend can’t establish a passing game, your 3rd down conversion rate will it is in awful. Such is the instance for Tennessee football this year, as the Vols space dead last in the SEC in 3rd down conversion rate, obtaining a very first down just 30.4 percent the the time.

To be fair, that’s a bit skewed, together they have actually actually converted 15 the 23 fourth downs, and also Jeremy Pruitt has plainly played for 2 downs at times. However, that doesn’t change the reality that they could be better. Even last week, against the Vanderbilt Commodores, they just converted two of 10 3rd down attempts.

Against the Texas A&M Aggies, third down could end up being a significant difference. Jimbo Fisher’s team is second in the league in converting on together plays, as they have actually a 54.7 percent conversion rate. Now, they have actually only converted on two of seven fourth downs, yet they yes, really haven’t needed 4th downs to gain the task done.

Somehow, UT’s passing game will have to number out a method to get far better on 3rd downs. Their defense isn’t much better at obtaining off the field, which provides them much more vulnerable in this mismatch, so your offense has to finally do what the hasn’t done every year.


COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – OCTOBER 31: Isaiah Spiller #28 that the Texas A&M Aggies congratulates Ainias smith #0 ~ a touchdown in the first half at Kyle ar on October 31, 2020 in university Station, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

3. Who develops the run first?

If yes one area in which Tennessee football might potentially competitor the Texas A&M Aggies, it’s preventing the run. Jimbo Fisher’s defense is third in the SEC in fewest yards allowed per lug at three and also a half. However, the Vols aren’t far behind, together they permit just end three and a half yards every carry and are fourth in the SEC.

Now, on the various other side, that a various story. A&M can get going in the operation game automatically with Isaiah Spiller, and they are first in the SEC at five and a half yards every carry. Meanwhile, the Vols space 10th in the SEC at just under four yards every carry.

This isn’t on the UT run video game itself, though. The Vols have elite blockers favor Trey Smith, and also they have actually two tools in Eric Gray and Ty Chandler. Jabari tiny is coming on together well. The issue is your inability to create balance through a heavy passing attack, enabling teams to offer out to stop the run.

Still, the Vols have shown that they can get the run game going early, and also if they carry out that, this could get somewhat interesting. Together a result, a major factor will be which team can obtain their rushing assault off the ground first. If A&M does, this will be over early.


Tennessee linebacker Deandre Johnson (13) celebrates a bag he made throughout a SEC conference football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and also the Missouri Tigers organized at Neyland stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., top top Saturday, October 3, 2020.Kns Ut football Missouri Bp

2. Will certainly Vols have the ability to generate any kind of pass rush?

Against the Vanderbilt Commodores, Tennessee football had a solid pass rush. However, that was against Vandy, who had actually the worst pass protection you can possibly have. Together a result, not having actually a dominant pass rush was disappointing.

The week before, the Vols’ pass rush to be awful against the Florida Gators.What’s clean is the the dismissal of Kivon Bennett, who was just start to emerge into a star, proved disastrous for this unit. The protective line can’t get sufficient of a press up front, and there aren’t enough explosive athletes with endure on the outside.

On the various other hand, the Texas A&M Aggies are remarkable at protecting the quarterback. They have only permitted four sacks top top the year, by far the fewest in the SEC. The Florida Gators room the closest come them, allowing 14 sacks ~ above the year, and we saw simply how negative the Vols’ pass rush remained in that game.

As a result, the idea of exactly how much time Kellen Mond may need to throw the round Saturday is a scary thought. Jeremy Pruitt and Derrick Ansley will have actually to find a means to generate part pass rush, and component of this leads to our last key.


ARLINGTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 28: Kellen Mond #11 of the Texas A&M Aggies during the Southwest classic at AT&T stadium on September 28, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo through Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

1. Kellen Mond in the pocket vs. Horrendous Vols secondary

Building turn off the necessity to create a happen rush, Tennessee soccer desperately has actually to discover a means to save Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond in the pocket. That’s crucial to the Vols having any type of chance.

Although Mond is much far better in the pocket 보다 he remained in previous years, the is still in ~ his best when he’s able to role out. His mobility speaks because that itself, together he almost has 200 yards rushing ~ above the year and two touchdowns. A male like that generally gets sacked a lot, however as we already mentioned, Mond is the the very least sacked quarterback in the league.

When he’s compelled to throw from the pocket, though, he’s a bit more vulnerable. Jeremy Pruitt and Derrick Ansley are pretty good at designing plays to do things prefer that happen, so then comes the next question. How will UT’s secondary, which has struggled every year, perform versus Mond once he’s missing on throws native the pocket.

Obviously, Bryce Thompson had a pick-six critical week, and also Jaylen McCollough play his finest game, but this unit tho struggled. Ken Seals had actually 239 yards and also two touchdowns through the air. Yes sir no factor to think that Mond can’t torch them indigenous the pocket. If the an additional takes a step forward, though, the development could look really dramatic.

That would certainly do sufficient to store the Vols in the game for some duration of time. Mond has actually completed 61.1 percent that his passes because that 1,769 yards, 18 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions on the year and also is averaging seven and a half yards an attempt. Efficiency is the name of his game.

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Depending on even if it is or not he’s in the pocket Saturday, though, and also how Tennessee football’s secondary plays, he can go for large numbers. That have to scare anyone on Rocky Top, and Pruitt and also Ansley have to figure out exactly how to not let the happen.