Looking ahead: How Tennessee's 2014 opponents fared this season

The goal posts at a Shields-Watkins come down after UT Chattanooga upsets Tennessee 14-6 in the 1958 season. The celebration caused a riot that resulted in numerous arrests.

Photo by News Sentinel file photo

The goal posts at a Shields-Watkins come down after UT Chattanooga upsets Tennessee 14-6 in the 1958 season. The celebration caused a riot that resulted in numerous arrests.

With Tennessee's 2013 season wrapped up and recruiting in full swing, here is a look at how the Vols' 2014 opponents fared this year:

AUGUST

30 — UTAH STATE: The Aggies are 8-4 and, as winners of the Mountain West Conference's Mountain Division, will take on Fresno State in the MWC championship game on Saturday. They lost at Utah, at Southern Cal, against BYU and against Boise State, with the losses to the Utes and the Trojans by a combined seven points. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.

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SEPTEMBER

6 — ARKANSAS STATE: The Red Wolves went 7-5 this season, finishing second in the Sun Belt. They averaged right at 206 yards rushing per game, 28th in the nation. Tennessee's only other game against Arkansas State came in 2007, when the team was still the Indians, winning 48-27.

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13 — at OKLAHOMA: One of the big names in college football, the No. 17 Sooners are 9-2 this season heading into their finale at rival Oklahoma State. They've averaged just shy of 250 yards per game rushing in 2013, and are in line for a major bowl bid should they win Saturday. It will be the first meeting between the teams since the 1968 Orange Bowl, a 26-24 Oklahoma win after a last-second Tennessee field goal was ruled no good. In their only other meeting, the Vols won the 1938 Orange Bowl over the Sooners, 17-0, during UT's famous 71-quarter run without allowing a point.

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27 — at GEORGIA: The 8-4 Bulldogs have had a season marred by injuries, but finished the regular-season part of the schedule by roaring back to win over rival Georgia Tech. Georgia's 34-31 overtime win over the Vols this season ran their win streak against UT to four, and it can tie the all-time series at 21-21-2 with a win.

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OCTOBER

4 — FLORIDA: The Gators went into a tailspin after beating Tennessee, finishing at 4-8, their worst record since Florida went 0-10-1 in 1979. Florida leads the all-time series 24-19, largely because UT is just 6-22 against the Gators in the last 40 years. Florida has said it will retain coach Will Muschamp, but the Gators' coach will enter the year on the proverbial hot seat.

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11 — CHATTANOOGA: The Mocs' visit to Knoxville rekindles one of Tennessee's original foes after an absence since 1969. Between 1899 and 1969, the Vols and Mocs squared off 41 times, with UT owning a 37-2-2 mark in the series. One of those two losses, a 14-6 setback to the school then known as the Tennessee-Chattanooga Moccasins in 1958, set off on- and off-field rioting, resulting in police being called in, and tear gas being fired. It has long been rumored that one of the field goal posts from that game has served as a bar brace for a Chattanooga fraternity. The Mocs went 8-4 this season.

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18 — at OLE MISS: The Rebels were an up-and-down team in 2013, finishing 7-5 with wins at Texas and over LSU, but losing to arch-rival Mississippi State in overtime. Tennessee leads the all-time series with the Rebels 44-19-1, but UT's last trip to Oxford was a disastrous 42-17 blowout loss in 2009.

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25 — ALABAMA: The Crimson Tide sit at 11-1 after a last-second (literally) loss at Auburn in the Iron Bowl on a 109-yard missed field goal return. It would take Florida State and Ohio State losing their respective conference championship games, but Alabama still has very slim hopes of appearing in the final BCS title game. Even if that doesn't materialize, the Tide will be in their fifth BCS-level bowl in six seasons. Alabama owns a 51-37-8 record against Tennessee.

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NOVEMBER

1 — at SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks finished the regular season with a 10-2 record, with Tennessee's 23-21 win costing them a spot in the SEC Championship Game. All-time, Tennessee owns a 23-7-2 mark against South Carolina, with five of those Gamecock wins coming since Steve Spurrier took over in Columbia in 2005.

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15 — KENTUCKY: The Wildcats lost to Western Kentucky to open the season, and it never got better. Kentucky finished 2-10, with one of those two wins coming against 0-12 Miami of Ohio. UK has a 16-game losing streak dating back to a 10-7 win over Tennessee in 2011, making UT's record against the Cats 44-6 over the last 50 meetings. All-time, Tennessee is 76-24-9 against Kentucky, the Vols most frequent opponent at 109 games, one more than UT-Vanderbilt.

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22 — MISSOURI: The Tigers, along with their feline counterparts at Auburn, have been one of the surprises of the SEC this season, finishing 11-1 to represent the East against West champion AU on Saturday in Atlanta. The Vols' history with Mizzou only goes back to when they joined the SEC before the 2012 season and stands at 0-2.

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29 — at VANDERBILT: The Commodores' rise from conference doormat to respectable mediocrity continued in 2013 under James Franklin, who has his team in position for back-to-back 9-4 seasons if Vandy can win its bowl game. The Dores will be looking to beat UT for the third straight season for the first time since 1923-26, when a fresh face from West Point was hired to coach the Vols with the explicit instructions to even the series with Vandy, which at that point stood at 2-19-3. All-time, Tennessee leads the 108-game series with Vanderbilt 73-30-5.

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Total 2013 record heading into Saturday's games:93-50

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Comments » 15

atchleyaaron#1420833 writes:

With this schedule, Tennessee might win six games next year.

BrassMonkey writes:

Brutal once again. That's why Jones gets paid the big bucks. 5-7 doesn't cut it, 7-5 might. Funny how the fan base once lambasted mediocrity and now they accept it fully and just wish we could get back there.

wigmeister writes:

Tough schedule but we have a lot of good young players coming in. Depends on how fast they gel as a team.

oldster writes:

4 and 8. The Vols have no positions of strength and gobs of inexperience. Both lines will be even worse next year than this, and that is where games are won or lost.

wilk58 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Brutal once again. That's why Jones gets paid the big bucks. 5-7 doesn't cut it, 7-5 might. Funny how the fan base once lambasted mediocrity and now they accept it fully and just wish we could get back there.

Medicore is in the right direction.

underthehill writes:

in response to oldster:

4 and 8. The Vols have no positions of strength and gobs of inexperience. Both lines will be even worse next year than this, and that is where games are won or lost.

Sad to say ..but if I had to place a bet..I'd bet 4-8..If I had to just hope for the best..I'd hope for 6-6..

Tao_of_Tennessee writes:

If the QB, whoever that is, stays healthy all year then I think we can achieve a 6-6 and a bowl. Better things to come after that.

Plasticman85 writes:

Hopefully all the fans calling for CBJ's head after the Vols go 6-6 next season remember what most prognosticators said would be their record for 2014. It's always funny how many fans predict 5-7 or 6-6 and then after the season ends starts talking about how changes need to be made.

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to Plasticman85:

Hopefully all the fans calling for CBJ's head after the Vols go 6-6 next season remember what most prognosticators said would be their record for 2014. It's always funny how many fans predict 5-7 or 6-6 and then after the season ends starts talking about how changes need to be made.

+1.....they were just 2 plays away from being 7-5 instead of 5-7 this year. Hopefully, they can make a couple of plays next year that they didn't make this year and will have a winning season. GBO!! VFL!!!

oldster writes:

in response to Plasticman85:

Hopefully all the fans calling for CBJ's head after the Vols go 6-6 next season remember what most prognosticators said would be their record for 2014. It's always funny how many fans predict 5-7 or 6-6 and then after the season ends starts talking about how changes need to be made.

You are right. I predicted 5-7, 6-6 at best and I am not happy. The reason? Getting beat by Vandy and slaughtered by Auburn and Mizzou. The way the team played after upsetting SCar (which raised hopes), dashed my raised expectations. I cannot see next year's team winning as many games as this year's team, and, since I cannot stand watching bad football, I will not watch a game.

murrayvol writes:

in response to jakethevolguy:

+1.....they were just 2 plays away from being 7-5 instead of 5-7 this year. Hopefully, they can make a couple of plays next year that they didn't make this year and will have a winning season. GBO!! VFL!!!

In the interest of full disclosure they were just 2 plays away from 3-9 instead of 5-7 this year.

We've fallen a long way and the road back to the top tier of the SEC requires more than a quick fix. Butch needs time. It's as simple as that.

FWBVol writes:

in response to oldster:

You are right. I predicted 5-7, 6-6 at best and I am not happy. The reason? Getting beat by Vandy and slaughtered by Auburn and Mizzou. The way the team played after upsetting SCar (which raised hopes), dashed my raised expectations. I cannot see next year's team winning as many games as this year's team, and, since I cannot stand watching bad football, I will not watch a game.

If Worley is at QB we probably beat Vanderbilt and the Auburn and Missouri games are much closer.

Jones had a true freshman quarterback throwing to true freshmen receivers a large part of the year. And I don't think too many people, if any, thought that Missouri or Auburn would be so good this year.

Jones inherited a bad situation that was at least five years in the making when Mike Hamilton pulled the plug (prematurely in my opinion) on Phillip Fulmer.

We have to give Jones at least three, maybe four years to get things turned around.

As the old question goes, "How come there never seems to be enough time to do things right, but always enough time to do them over?"

I think if we give Butch Jones time to do things right, which might be four or five years, we won't have to think about doing them over for a long time.

fannotsheep writes:

Expect another rough season. But the infusion of talent, assuming Jones signs 95 percent of the commits, could put a spark in the locker room. Nothing like competition at every position to bring out the best.

Only sure thing is Chattanooga, but maybe we beat the Gators, could beat Ole Miss, should beat Kentucky and Arkansas State, might beat Utah State and Vandy. Tough road to beat Georgia and S. Carolina, not gonna beat Bama this time, but keep recruiting and it won't be long.

Why any kid wants to play for Sunshine Saban is beyond me. Not like he's the only guy who can get you to the NFL. I'd rather spend four years sitting in the dentist's chair than playing for that grumpy old man.

VOLinMAHWAH writes:

in response to FWBVol:

If Worley is at QB we probably beat Vanderbilt and the Auburn and Missouri games are much closer.

Jones had a true freshman quarterback throwing to true freshmen receivers a large part of the year. And I don't think too many people, if any, thought that Missouri or Auburn would be so good this year.

Jones inherited a bad situation that was at least five years in the making when Mike Hamilton pulled the plug (prematurely in my opinion) on Phillip Fulmer.

We have to give Jones at least three, maybe four years to get things turned around.

As the old question goes, "How come there never seems to be enough time to do things right, but always enough time to do them over?"

I think if we give Butch Jones time to do things right, which might be four or five years, we won't have to think about doing them over for a long time.

Exaclty right. Look at the job David Cutcliff has done at Duke. That was five years in the making to get to the ACC championship game. Duke had patience with him and it is now paying dividends. Butch Jones will do the same for Tennessee if we allow him the time to get the job done. He's proven he can recruit and coach. Now he just needs time to get the RIGHT building blocks in place.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

6-6 is a dream. Reality 4-8, 5-7 with some luck. Another December to forget.
No proven QB, new offensive and defensive line. If AJ leaves all new LB's. Hamilton, Kiffboy and Doofus destroyed this program.
How is that firing of Fulmer working out for you now.
Butch better hold this recruiting class together because if it starts to erode so will his job security after next season.

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