AUBURN | The Tigers travel to Knoxville this week to take on the Tennessee Volunteers, who are 4-5 overall and 1-4 in Southeastern Conference play.
Auburn leads the series 27-21-3 and the Tigers have won the last 5 games against the Vols.
Head coach Butch Jones is in his first season at the helm after three years at Cincinnati and three at Central Michigan. The Vols have been up and down in 2013, taking Georgia to overtime before losing 34-31 -- then upsetting No. 11 South Carolina, 23-21. Both of those games were played in Knoxville.
How is Tennessee on the road? Try 0-4 and outscored 166-44.
Offensive Coordinator Mike Bajakian has been Jones' quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator since Jones' first year as a head coach. Prior to that, he was an offensive quality control assistant with the Chicago Bears.
Formation-wise, Tennessee looks a lot like Auburn. They typically are in the shotgun and will line up with a variety of personnel. That includes one back, two backs, four wides, and with a tight end and/or an H-back. There is a fair amount of pre-snap motion by either an H-back or a wide receiver.
True freshman Josh Dobbs (6-3, 193) will get the second start of his career this week. Dobbs started against Missouri last week due to an injury to starter Justin Worley. Dobbs threw for 240 yards on 26-of-42 passing in that game with two interceptions.
He also ran for 45 yards.
The Vols return four starters on the offensive line and the group has a combined 162 starts. Fifth-year senior left guard Alex Bullard (6-2, 302) was not a starter last year, but does have 22 career starts. The best of the group is left tackle Antonio Richardson (6-6, 327, Jr.), the only non-senior starter on the offensive line. The Vols like to run to their right, behind guard Zach Fulton (6-5, 323) and tackle Ja'Wuan James (6-6, 318).
Tailback Rajion Neal (5-11, 212, Sr.) has started all nine games this season and leads the team with 771 rushing yards. He's also caught 19 passes for 80 yards. Neal averages five yards per carry and has a team-best nine touchdowns.
True freshman wide receiver Marquez North (6-4, 215) is the focus of Tennessee's passing game.He has 32 receptions on the season, including seven last week vs Mizzou.
Slot receiver Alton "Pig" Howard (5-8, 185, Soph.) leads the team with 36 receptions, including three for touchdowns. Tennessee likes to put Howard in motion and run the speed sweep, and he's run that play 12 times for 73 yards. The third receiver is redshirt freshman Jason Croom (6-5, 223).
Junior Brendan Downs (6-5, 248) is the tight end/H-back. Used mainly as a blocker, Downs has 10 receptions this season and averages 6.2 yards per catch.
Defensive Coordinator John Jancek came with Butch Jones from Cincinnati. He was the linebackers coach at Georgia through the 2008 season until moving to the Bearcats' staff a year later. Jancek and Vols secondary coach Willie Martinez coached together at Georgia from 2005-2008, with Jancek the linebackers coach and Martinez the coordinator and secondary coach.
Jancek's base defense is a 4-3, though the number of defenders in the box varies with the number of wide receivers deployed by the offense.
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