Akron at No. 15 Tennessee, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (SEC Network+/ESPN+)
Line: Tennessee by 47 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Tennessee leads 2-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Tennessee has no room for a letdown at this stage of the season, not with a chance at taking a three-game win streak into the Volunteers’ home showdown with Florida to kick off their Southeastern Conference schedule. A win would be the Vols’ first 3-0 start since winning the first five games of 2016. After opening the season with an overtime win against St. Francis (Pa.), Akron was manhandled by Michigan State. Surviving another Power Five matchup healthy and positive is key as the Zips prepare to dive into their Mid-American Conference schedule.
Tennessee generated just 91 yards on the ground against Pitt. That part of the Vols’ offense has to be more effective. Defensively, Tennessee didn’t get a sack against Ball State. The Vols had four against Pittsburgh, so getting to the Akron quarterback will be a priority.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Akron: WR Shocky Jacques-Louis is one of the Zips on offense with big-play capabilities. In two games, he has caught 11 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown.
Tennessee: WR Jalin Hyatt. He has caught 13 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown, which happened on the Vols’ first offensive snap of the season.
FACTS & FIGURES
Tennessee is playing its second MAC team after beating Ball State 59-10 in the opener. … Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker threw for 325 yards and two TDs against Pitt, earning SEC offensive player of the week honors. … DL Byron Young had four tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and three quarterbacks hurries to earn SEC defensive player of the week. … Tennessee WR Cedric Tillman is ranked 13th nationally averaging 115 yards receiving per game. … Akron had 11 newcomers on defense and special teams record tackles against Michigan State. … With 114 net yards and two touchdowns, Zips leading rusher Cam Wiley is just one of three with positive rushing yards. … Akron had four turnovers in its 52-0 loss to Michigan State. … Tennessee is 9-0 against current MAC teams. … Tennessee averaged 610.5 yards of total offense against the Zips in the two previous games.
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