Football Central: Tennessee vs. Chattanooga

Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee wraps up its season-opening three-game homestand this Saturday afternoon as the Vols welcome in-state foe Chattanooga to Neyland Stadium for a noon kickoff.

The Big Orange will be looking to extend their winning streak over in-state non-conference opponents to 15 straight games.

Broadcast Info
Saturday’s contest will be televised on the SEC Network with Taylor Zarzour (PxP), Matt Stinchcomb (analyst) and Alyssa Lang (sideline) on the call.

Fans can also listen to Tennessee’s radio broadcast on the Vol Network (WIVK-FM 107.7, WNML-FM 99.1 & WNML-AM 990) as well as satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 133, XM Ch. 190, Internet Ch. 963). Bob Kesling (PxP), Tim Priest (analyst) and Brent Hubbs (analyst) will call the action all season long.

Need to Know
One-Two Punch
Tennessee’s running back tandem of Ty Chandler and Eric Gray have proven to be an effective one-two punch for the Vols early on this season. Chandler and Gray have combined to account for 45 percent of the Vols’ total offense through two games with 368 total yards between them. The dynamic duo has also accounted for 308 of the team’s 335 net rushing yards.

Chandler is coming off his third career 150-plus yard rushing performance after racking up 154 yards on the ground against BYU last week, including a 53-yard run in the second quarter. The Nashville native had three runs of 50 or more yards in his career and 12 total plays accounting for 30 or more yards.

Gray rushed for 77 yards on 17 carries last week against the Cougars after racking up six receptions for 51 yards in the season opener against Georgia State. His six receptions against the Panthers were the most by a freshman running back since Jalen Hurd had seven catches at South Carolina on Nov. 1, 2014.

Jennings Off to Impressive Start
Redshirt senior wide receiver Jauan Jennings has been Tennessee’s biggest threat through the air through two games. The redshirt senior has 11 receptions for 196 yards and three touchdowns so far this season. His four-catch, 88-yard, two touchdown performance against BYU was the second multi-score game of his career (2016 vs. Missouri). It’s also the third time in his career that he has had a touchdown catch in back-to-back games. Jennings has already equaled his receiving touchdowns total of three from last season.

In the season opener against Georgia State, Jennings set a career high in receptions with seven. For his performance that also included 108 receiving yards and a touchdown, Jennings was named to PFF College’s SEC Team of the Week and graded out as a 79.8 — the highest grade of any slot receiver in the nation.

Mr. Automatic
Junior placekicker Brent Cimaglia has put together an impressive start to his third season on Rocky Top, converting on all seven of his field goals and all five of his extra points. Cimaglia is tied for first in the nation in field goals made (seven) and field goal percentage (100%). The Nashville native tied a career-long make against BYU, nailing a 51-yard kick in the second quarter. He previously made a 51-yarder at Florida in 2017. The junior has also made field goals from 19, 22, 31, 39, 40 and 48 yards during the season’s first two games, bringing his career total field goal mark to 25-for-33. He is also 39-for-39 on extra points over the course of his career. Cimaglia has now made his last nine field goals and has hit seven of his last nine field goal attempts of 40 or more yards.

Bumphus Emerging as Playmaker on D-Line
Junior defensive lineman LaTrell Bumphus became the second player on Tennessee’s roster with a multiple-sack game to his credit during the Vols’ game against BYU. Bumphus, who registered two sacks after earning his first-career defensive start, joins Darrell Taylor as  players on Tennessee’s roster with games of two sacks or more. Before moving to defensive line prior to the 2019 season, Bumphus started one game at tight end against South Carolina in 2018. For the second time in the Jeremy Pruitt era, Tennessee had three separate players record a sack in the same game as Bumphus, Taylor and Greg Emerson did so against the Cougars.

Series History: Chattanooga
Vols lead series, 38-2-2

Saturday will mark the 43rd meeting between the Volunteers and Mocs. Tennessee has dominated the series, winning 38 of the 42 games between the two programs. The Big Orange have won nine straight games in the series, with their last loss coming back in 1958. UT’s only other loss to Chattanooga came all the way back in 1905.

Tennessee and Chattanooga were both members of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association from 1913-1920. The Vols are 68-6-1 against current members of the FCS and 48-4-2 versus current members  of the Southern Conference, most recently defeating ETSU, 59-3, last season in Knoxville.

About Chattanooga
Chattanooga enters this weekends contest with a 1-1 record. The Mocs defeated Eastern Illinois, 24-10, in their season opener before falling to Jacksonville State, 41-20, on the road last Saturday. Head coach Rusty Wright is in his first season leading the program after spending the past two seasons as specials teams coordinator and linebackers coach at Georgia State. Wright was a four-year letter winner for the Mocs football team and had two stints as an assistant coach at UTC.

The Mocs feature an experience offense that returns 24 letterwinners and nine starters from last season, including all five offensive linemen. Senior quarterback Nick Tiano has thrown for 403 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions while also rushing for a pair of scores so far this season. Freshman Ailym Ford has seen the bulk of the carries at running back, rushing 34 times for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Junior wideout Bryce Nunnelly has been Tiano’s favorite target with 14 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, senior linebacker Marshall Cooper leads the team in tackles with 20. Defensive lineman Devonsha Maxwell has recorded 2.5 tackles for loss to lead the Mocs while defensive backs CaMiron Smith and Kameron Brown have both intercepted a pass.

Game Promos
Teacher Appreciation Day: Saturday’s game will serve as Teacher Appreciation Day at Neyland Stadium. UT will honor all of Tennessee’s educators and teachers as part of the Extra Yard for Teachers initiative. There will be an exclusive FREE pregame tailgate, which includes breakfast, drinks and entertainment. One lucky teacher will have the opportunity to win two (2) suite tickets & pregame field access. Tennessee will also provide discounted tickets for all teachers, educators, staff, family and friends.

2019 Spirit Day: Pregame Clinic, on-field performance, Spirit Day t-shirt, post-performance food and discounted tickets!


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