Arkansas vs Tennessee Preview: Defensive Struggles

Arkansas will be playing Tennessee for the 17th time in this series. Tennessee holds an All-Time Lead over Arkansas 3-13. Only 3 games have come outside of the SEC including two Bowl Matchups (89 Cotton Bowl/ 71 Liberty Bowl). Last time these two teams met, they split the series with each winning at home (06-07). What is in store for this matchup?

Picture by Mark Wagner,

Picture by Mark Wagner,

Tyler Wilson leads Arkansas into this matchup with the most passing yards in the SEC(2626), which is almost 600 yards more than 2nd Place Aaron Murray of Georgia(2060). Arkansas also contains 4 WRS listed in the top 20 for receiving yards in SEC:

1. Jarius Wright – 812 receiving yards, 48 receptions, 9 TDs
5. Joe Adams – 516 receiving yards, 41 receptions, 1 TD
11. Cobi Hamilton – 397 receiving yards, 23 receptions, 2 TDs
17. Chris Gragg – 321 receiving yards, 28 receptions, 1 TD

Tennessee was hoping to have QB Tyler Bray back for this matchup. Bray once led the SEC in passing yards before succumbing to an injury. However, reports out of Tennessee do not sound very promising for his return this weekend. During the weekly SEC Teleconference on Wednesday, Dooley stated that Bray’s hand had not healed well enough. “He won’t play,” Dooley said. “We never expected him to play. So, he’s kind of progressing along the timeline we felt like he would progress.”

Dooley expects to turn to Freshman Justin Worley, who will be taking over for Senior Matt Simms. Simms hasn’t had much luck so far, only completing 23 passes in 4 games (3 of which he started). Tennessee has faired worse, posting only one offensive TD in the month of October.


On the defensive side, both teams have a lot of room for improvement. Last week, Arkansas defense was strong enough to hold South Carolina to less than 50 total yards in the first half. However, mistakes kept the defense on the field in the second half while also keeping South Carolina in the game for quite a long time.

April L Brown - AP

Arkansas kept Conner Shaw off his feet all game last weekend. Photo By April L Brown - AP

Luckily for Arkansas, Tennessee is ranked last in the SEC in both Scoring and Rushing Offense while their Passing Offense has fallen in rank as the season progressed.

For Tennessee, their defense will have major problems containing the Arkansas playmakers. Tennessee ranks 8th in the SEC in Passing and Rushing Defense while they are 10th in Scoring Defense.


Arkansas should come out firing on all cylinders while Tennessee should post no match for the Hogs on either side of the ball. Arkansas rolls in a prime-time ESPN matchup.

Arkansas 42, Tennessee 13

Article written by

Arkansas born and bred. Season Ticket Holder for 12 Years. I am an Arkansas Alum that received an undergraduate and graduate degree for Information Systems.