As the Tennessee Volunteers prepare for the Alabama Crimson Tide, physical anguish and statistical anguish plague the offense.
The Vols, 3-3 overall and 0-3 in the SEC, will enter Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night without the services of quarterback Tyler Bray and wide receiver Justin Hunter.
Bray, who suffered a broken thumb against Georgia on Oct. 8, is expected to miss another month, and Hunter is lost for the season after sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament against Florida on Sept. 17.
Prior to the injuries, Bray had thrown for 1,579 yards including 14 touchdowns and two interceptions, while Hunter had been on the receiving end of 17 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns.
Simms Replaces Bray
In relief of Tyler Bray, quarterback Matt Simms started his first game of the season last week against LSU. The odds were certainly against Simms entering the contest…and the odds were correct.
The UT quarterback only completed six passes out of 20 attempts including two interceptions. Simms is now 11-of-28 on the season for 185 yards including the aforementioned interceptions.
In fairness to Simms, starting your first game of the season against one of the best defenses in the nation is not exactly ideal...but neither is facing Alabama one week later.
The college football “community” should give Matt Simms a “free pass” (no pun intended), but don’t expect angry Tennessee fans to sign the agreement.
UT Rushing Attack
In times of quarterback turmoil, the running game becomes doubly important for offensive success. Unfortunately for the Vols, the running game has yet to surface in 2011.
If second place is considered the first loser, what is 114 of out 120? UT will enter the contest with Alabama 114th in the nation in total rushing; only averaging 89 yards per game on the ground.
Who is number one in the nation against the run? The Alabama Crimson Tide of course! The vaunted ‘Bama defense only allows 38 yards per game on average.
Tennessee Rushing/Receiving Stats of Note