November 6, 2007

Offense Challenged to Keep Pace

When Tennessee hosts Arkansas this weekend, the most obvious challenge will be the Vols' defense against the growing legend of Darren McFadden and the Arkansas running game. That match-up will rightly get a lot of attention, but the high-scoring 'Hogs aren't only putting pressure on the defense. The Tennessee offense will also be under the gun to produce, and keep pace with the SEC's highest scoring team.

David Cutcliffe won't be drawing up any schemes to stop McFadden and Felix Jones this week, but he will be spending considerable time trying to concoct a plan capable of matching what the Arkansas offense has been putting on the scoreboard this season.

Houston Nutt's squad is averaging a league-best 41.1 points per game. Tennessee on the other hand is just a fraction ahead of Kentucky at the bottom of the league (.4 to be precise), surrendering 28.6 points per game.

Those numbers combine to tell Cutcliffe that Tennessee had better not waste many possessions on Saturday.

"Obviously it does put more pressure on us," Cutcliffe said of Arkansas' ability to score points. "They're a great football team offensively, they've proved that week after week. They're hot. We'll have to do everything we can to compete against an offense like that, let alone their really good defense.

"They may be the hottest team in the SEC."

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