The Tennessee line is young and inexperienced but its raw talent warrants a tie in this category, especially if JerQuari Schofield is close to 100 percent.
Tennessee is giving true freshman Tyler Bray his first start, so no one knows what to expect. Memphis' Ryan Williams (57.8 percent completion rate, 1,153 yards, 122.9 passer-efficiency rating, 7 TDs, 6 interceptions) is solid.
The Tigers' Gregory Ray (497 yards per game, 4.6 yards per carry) is good but the Vols' Tauren Poole is better. Poole will be pumped after a poor outing last week at South Carolina.
Marcus Rucker (23 receptions, 17.9 yards per catch, 4 TDs) is a threat for Memphis. The senior duo of Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore gives UT the edge, however.
Memphis is allowing 195 rushing yards per game, so no one up front is offering a whole lot of resistance. Tennessee's front four at least stops teams with weak running games.
Mississippi State transfer Jamon Hughes (101 tackles in eight games) is a fine player for Memphis. The Tigers allow 473 yards of total offense per game, however, so he isn't getting much help.
Neither team can defend the pass. Memphis allows 277.8 passing yards per game, UT allows 239.2. Both quarterbacks should pad their statistics this weekend.
Finally! The Vols face a team that's worse returning punts than they are. Memphis has 7 returns for 6 net yards this fall. Punter Tom Hornsey (42.6-yard average) and kicker Paulo Henriques (8 of 12 on field goals) are dependable.
Though 1-7, Memphis has the home-field advantage and a lot of incentive against its in-state rival. But Tennessee has a 21-1 advantage in the all-time series and, at 2-6, an outside shot at qualifying for a bowl bid.
Tennessee gets hammered by good football teams. Memphis gets hammered by just about everybody. Vols, 38-14
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