Records the Vols Could Break in 2016

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    Jalen Hurd-1-3

    Several Tennessee players are on the verge of having record-breaking seasons this year. Even the team as a whole could end up knocking out a few records by the time the 2016 season is officially over.

    From Jalen Hurd to Evan Berry and even Cam Sutton, several Vols could end up owning records by the end of the season. Here is a complete list of records the Vols could conceivably break this season.

    Jalen Hurd

    It’s well known that Jalen Hurd needs just 892 yards this season to own Tennessee’s career rushing mark. But he also has a good¬†shot at owning some more rushing records by the time his junior year is up.

    Arian Foster owns the Vols’ record for most carries in a career, toting the rock 650 times from 2005-08. Hurd currently has 467 carries in two seasons. He only needs 184 carries in 2016 to surpas that mark, and considering he had 190 in his freshman year alone and 277 last year, there’s a very good chance Hurd owns that record too.

    Tennessee’s record for most rushing touchdowns in a season and career is held by Gene McEver with 18 in a season and 37 in a career. Those records have stood for over 80 years. Hurd will have to set career-highs in order to reach those numbers, but they’re certainly doable for the junior. In order to pass McEver’s career mark, Hurd would need 21 rushing touchdowns, which would be both a career-high for him and Tennessee’s record for most in a season. It’s unlikely Hurd gets these records, but don’t count him out.

    Hurd could also set Tennessee’s record for most 100-yard games in a career. Currently, Travis Henry holds that record with 15 such games in a career. Hurd has 10 in his first two seasons. All he needs is six 100-yard games in 2016 to eclipse that total.

    Josh Dobbs

    Dobbs may not be in line to set many passing records as Tennessee’s quarterback this season, but he can still end up atop the record books in one area by the end of the year.

    All Dobbs needs is 175 rushing yards to own Tennessee’s record for most rushing yards by a quarterback. Mallon Faircloth is the current record-holder with 1,503 rushing yards. Dobbs has 1,329 and could easily break this record before the Vols take on Florida for the fourth game of the season.

    Dobbs also only needs six more rushing touchdowns to surpass Jimmy Streater’s mark of 25 to hold the Vols all-time record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

    Derek Barnett

    There’s been talk about one record Barnett could break this season, but he actually has a legitimate shot to break a couple by the time the season ends.

    Barnett needs 12.5 sacks this season to break Reggie White’s career mark of 32 sacks. Barnett has notched 10 sacks each of his first two seasons. That mark is absolutely reachable, especially if Barnett stays healthy this year.

    The other record Barnett could break this year is Tennessee’s tackles for loss record. Right now, Leonard Little owns the Vols’ career mark with 53 career tackles for loss. Barnett has 33 right now, and he totaled 20.5 TFLs as a freshman. So putting up that total again this year will give him the career record.

    Evan Berry

    Last season, Evan Berry racked up 804 kickoff return yards, which placed him just short of David Oku’s season record of 863 return yards. But Berry could potentially break that this year, as well as several other return records.

    Berry needs just 567 return yards to surpass Willie Gault’s career mark of 1,854 yards. Considering Berry’s average yards per return is 34.8, he could theoretically have that record after his 17th return this year if his average holds up.

    Berry also tied Willie Gault’s record for most return touchdowns in a season with three last year. Gault’s all-time mark of four in a career is well within reach of Berry this year, and even if he doesn’t eclipse that mark this season, he’ll have another year in 2017 to break it.

    Cam Sutton

    In 2015, Cam Sutton broke Tennessee’s record for most punt return yards in a season with 467. He passed Bobby Majors’ total of 457 yards in 1969, and he finished with the fourth-highest punt return average in a season. His two return touchdowns tied him with five others for the most in a single season in Vol history.

    And he has a chance to break more records as a returner this year too.

    Sutton would have to have another historic regular season to break Bobby Majors’ career mark of 1,163 yards. Right now, Sutton needs 539 yards to break that mark.

    What’s more in reach is Tennessee’s punt return touchdown record. Majors holds that mark as well with four scores from 1969-71. Sutton currently has three scores, so two more this season would give him the record.

    Sutton could also own the Vols’ career punt return average mark by the end of the season. Tennessee’s current record is Burt Rechichar’s 14.7 yards per return, and Sutton currently has a 15.6 average in his career. Assuming his 2016 numbers don’t dip significantly, he should be able to stay above Rechichar’s mark.

    Team Records

    The Vols were just 161 yards short of breaking their team record for most rushing yards in a season. The 2015 Vols finished with 2,908 yards and the 1951 squad had 3,068 yards. Meaning if they had just played one more game last year, the 2015 Vols likely would’ve had that mark. If the team makes it to Atlanta this year along with their 12 regular season games and a bowl game (or playoffs if they’re really good), then they have a very good chance of breaking that record this year.

    Tennessee’s record for total offense could also be broken this year. Last year’s team, once again, fell just short of that mark. The 1997 team totaled 5,794 yards during that season, and last year’s offense piled up 5,490 yards. This year’s team could definitely break that record.

    The record for most yards per game in a season is also a record this year’s team could break. Last year’s team averaged 422.3 yards a contest, and the 1997 team holds the record with 482.8 yards a game. Tennessee’s offense could certainly make it a a closer contest this year.

    Another record the Vols fell just short of last year was the team’s scoring record. The 1993 squad scored 471 points, which is the most in Tennessee history. Last year’s Vols team ended up with 457 points. So yes, if Tennessee had scored those 17 points that made up the deficit in their four losses, they would’ve had the scoring record last year too. The Vols figure to have an even more potent offense this year, so breaking that record is also possible.

    Records to keep an eye on: Kick return record (1,462 in 2007), kick return average record (33.4 in 2015), sacks record (50 in 2000)

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.