The Indiana Hoosiers take on Tennessee in the Gator Bowl January 2. Here is a look at the Volunteers.
(TENNESSEE SPORTS INFORMATION)
Head Coach: Jeremy Pruitt Record at UT: 12-12 (.500) // 2nd year Career Record: Same Rankings: CFP – NR // AP – NR // Coaches – RV
FIVE-GAME WIN STREAK PROPELS VOLS TO JAX •SECOND-BEST IN SEC: Tennessee takes the SEC’s second longest active win streak into the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl against Indiana on Jan. 2, 2020. • THE STREAK: The Vols are undoubtedly one of the hottest teams in the nation. After starting 1-4, Tennessee won six of its final seven games, only losing at then-No. 1 Alabama, closing with five straight victories to finish 7-5. • DEFENSE LEADS THE WAY: UT’s defense showed significant improvement during the five-game win streak, allowing only 14.2 points and 304 yards per game during the streak. In the first seven games, the Vols allowed 27 points and 360.7 yards per game. MOST ALL-SEC VOLS SINCE 2012 • 5 VOLS ON ALL-SEC TEAMS: G Trey Smith was named All-SEC First Team by the Coaches and AP, while S Nigel Warrior joined Smith on the AP First Team. Also capturing Coaches All-SEC Second Team were: Warrior, LB Daniel Bituli, K Brent Cimaglia and RS Marquez Callaway. Five All-SEC Vols marked the most UT honorees since 2012. • FRESHMEN HONORS: LT Wanya Morris, RT Darnell Wright and LB Henry To’o To’o grabbed SEC All-Freshman honors. Morris and To’o To’o were 247Sports True Freshman All-Americans, too, while RB Eric Gray and S Jaylen McCollough nabbed honorable mention from PFF College. VOLS HAVE BOWL SUCCESS VS. BIG TEN, INDIANA • EXACTLY 32 YEARS AGO: Tennessee and Indiana have met once before – exactly 32 years ago – on Jan. 2, 1988, when the Vols defeated the Hoosiers, 27-22, in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. • FOUR STRAIGHT VS. BIG TEN: The Vols have won four straight against the Big Ten – all bowl game victories against Nebraska (2016 Music City), Northwestern (2016 Outback), Iowa (2014 TaxSlayer) and Wisconsin (2007 Outback). UT is 21-12 vs. Big Ten all-time.
TENNESSEE’S GATOR BOWL TRADITION • SEVENTH APPEARANCE: Tennessee is making its seventh appearance all-time in the Gator Bowl to tie with the Sugar Bowl for the most appearances in a bowl all-time by the Vols. UT is 4-2 all-time in the Gator Bowl, winning the last two appearances in 2015 (45-28 win over Iowa) and 1994 (45-23 win over Virginia Tech). • 10TH ALL-TIME IN CFB HISTORY: UT has a record of 845- 395-53. The Vols rank 10th all-time in CFB history in wins. • TIED FOR FIFTH ALL-TIME IN CFB HISTORY: UT will go to its 53rd bowl all-time, which ranks tied for fourth among college football programs. UT is 28-24 all-time in bowl games. QUICK HITTERS • Eric Gray rushed for a Tennessee true-freshman record 246 yards in Tennessee’s 28-10 regular season finale win over Vanderbilt … Gray’s 181 first-half rushing yards were the second-most by a Vol ever in a half … Jarrett Guarantano became just the third Vol to ever pass for 400 yards (415) against Missouri and three WRs reached 100 yards receiving for the first time in school history … Nigel Warrior tied for first in the SEC with four INTs in the regular season to earn All-SEC First Team honors and honorable mention All-America accolades from PFF College … Daniel Bituli led UT with 82 tackles despite missing two games, becoming the second Vol ever to lead UT in tackles for three straight seasons … the Vols’ allowed 337 yards per game – their best mark in a decade … UT finished No. 16 in the nation in pass defense (191.2 ypg) … Marquez Callaway led the SEC and ranked fourth in the country in yards per catch (21.2) … Jauan Jennings was named the 2019 Tennessee Team MVP after finishing the regular season with 57 catches for 942 yards and scoring 9 TDs … Darrell Taylor ranked fifth in the SEC with 7.0 sacks and he has 15.0 sacks over the last two seasons … Brent Cimaglia ranks third in the SEC in field goals made (20) and field-goal percentage (83.3%).
BY THE NUMBERS
94…..Freshman running back Eric Gray’s 94-yard TD run vs. Vanderbilt was the second longest in program history and the longest by any player in the SEC this season.
137.3…..UT allowed only 137.3 passing yards per game in November – third in the country. The Vols held Kentucky to 25 passing yards on Nov. 9.
12…..Tennessee had 12 players graduate on Friday, Dec. 13, including Brandon Kennedy and Riley Lovingood, who earned m a s t e r ’ s d e g r e e s .
Also earning degrees were Jauan Jennings, Marquez Callaway and Darrell Taylor – among others.
29…..Senior wide receiver Jauan Jennings LED THE NATION in broken tackles by a wide receiver in 2019, breaking 29 tackles on 57 receptions.
SERIES INFO •The 75th edition of the Gator Bowl will mark the second time the Vols and Hoosiers have met on the gridiron, both of which have come in bowl games. • Following the 1987 campaign that saw the Vols finish 9-2-1 (4-1-1 SEC), UT went on to earn a bid to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta to face Indiana. Down 22-21 late in the fourth quarter, UT went on to win the game 27-22 after driving 40 yards in nine plays, capped by a 9-yard Reggie Cobb touchdown with just 1:52 remaining. • Head coach Johnny Majors led UT its 15th bowl victory, as the Vols finished the season 10-2-1, and were ranked 14th in the final AP poll.
NOTING THE HOOSIERS •Led by third year head coach Tom Allen, the Indiana Hoosiers went 8-4 (5-4 Big Ten) this season, notching their first eight-win season since 1993. • Allen currently holds an 18-19 record as Indiana’s head coach. This season, Allen has guided Indiana to just its sixth winning Big Ten season in the last 50 years, its first four-game conference winning streak in 26 years, and the Hoosiers’ first victory over Nebraska in the last 60 years. • Indiana will be facing its first SEC opponent since falling to Missouri in 2013 by a score of 45-28.
- Indiana is averaging 443.6 yards of total offense per game and 32.6 points per game. •Defensively, the Hoosiers have limited opponents to 24.5 points per game and 350.4 yards of total offense. •Indiana ranks in the top25 nationally in third-down conversion percentage (11th), blocked punts (20th), completion percentage (ninth), passing offense (13th), team passing efficiency (21st) and time of possession (fifth). •The offense is led by redshirt junior quarterback Peyton Ramsey. In 10 games, Ramsey has completed 184-of-166 passes for 2,227 yards and 13 touchdowns. •Ramsey ranks top-10 all-time in Indiana program history in career passing yardage, career passing attempts, career completions, career total yardage, career passing touchdowns, and is the program leader in career completion percentage. •Junior WR Whop Philyor led the Hoosiers in receiving yards with 1,001 on 69 catches in 2019, scoring five times. He has also rushed the ball nine times for 56 yards. •Redshirt sophomore tight end Peyton Hendershot has amassed 555 yards on 46 catches, scoring on four occasions.
- On the ground, sophomore Stevie Scott III is Indiana’s feature back with 862 yards on 178 carries, scoring 10 times in 2019. •Defensively, sophomore linebacker Micah McFadden leads the group with 56 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, an interception and four quarterback hurries. •Senior defensive back Khalil Bryant leads the secondary in tackles with 53. • In the trenches, redshirt junior Jerome Johnson leads the group with 37 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss while senior Allen Stallings IV leads the unit in sacks with five in 2019.