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Tennessee’s Week 7 Opponent Preview: Arkansas Razorbacks

Photo By Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

2020 Record: 2-3 overall (2-3, SEC)

Head Coach: Sam Pittman, 1st year, 2-3 overall (2-3, SEC)
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Leading Passer: Feleipe Franks (R-Sr.) — 105-of-159 (66.0%), 1,213 yards, 11 TD, 3 INT
Leading Rusher: Trelon Smith (R-Jr.) — 61 carries, 251 yards, 4.1 YPC, 0 TD
Leading Receiver: Treylon Burks (So.) — 26 receptions, 366 yards, 4 TD
Leading Tackler: Grant Morgan (R-Sr.) — 58 tackles (16 solo), 5.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 4 PBU, 1 INT,

Total 2020 Offense Rank: 76th (369.4)
Passing Offense Rank: 
44th (243.3)
Rushing Offense Rank: 76th (126.2)
Scoring Offense Rank: 75th (24.6)

Total 2020 Defense Rank: 65th (423.4)
Passing Defense Rank: 61st (245.2)
Rushing Defense Rank: 66th (178.2)
Scoring Defense Rank: 51st (28.8)

Here’s a complete preview of Tennessee’s opponent this Saturday, the Arkansas Razorbacks.


Florida graduate transfer Feleipe Franks has helped Arkansas’ offense take a big step forward this season. He’s thrown for 1,213 yards and 11 touchdowns, while completing 105-of-159 attempts through the team’s first five games. His next touchdown pass will give him the most by an Arkansas QB since 2016. Franks is fifth in the SEC in passing touchdowns (11) and sixth in passing yards per game (242.6) and points responsible for (13.2).

Franks relies on two of the better playmakers in the SEC in Treylon Burks and Rakeem Boyd.

Burks is considered by many to be one of the best wide receivers in the SEC as just a true sophomore. He leads the team with 26 receptions for 366 yards and four touchdowns despite missing the game at Auburn. His 6.5 receptions per game ranks fourth in the SEC and 20th nationally. He is also fifth in the SEC averaging 91.5 receiving yards per game, seventh in receiving touchdowns (4) and 10th in total receiving yards (366). Burks produced his second straight 100+ yard game at Texas A&M, catching seven passes for 117 yards. He also recorded his first career two touchdown game.

Boyd has gotten off to a slow start this season due to injury, but got going in his last game out with his first 100-yard rushing game of the season on 18 carries. It led to a season-best 222 rushing yards for Arkansas.

Trelon Smith, Arkansas’ leading-rusher on the year, serves as a nice compliment to Boyd. Smith has rushed for  251 yards on the season and is averaging 4.1 yards per carry.

Redshirt freshman Hudson Henry and redshirt senior Blake Kern play the bulk of the snaps at tight end. Henry is coming off of a career-high six catches in his last outing against Texas A&M and is now up to 12 catches for 75 yards and a touchdown this season. Kern has eight catches for 92 yards.

Arkansas’ offensive line is allowed 3.0 sacks per game, which ranks 12th in the SEC and 76th in the country. In addition to struggling to protect Franks, the unit up front has struggled to open up holes in the running game. The Hogs are rushing for 126.2 yards per game, which ranks 11th in the country.

Left tackle Myron Cunningham is Arkansas’ best offensive lineman. He allowed just one sack in 383 pass blocking plays last season in 10 starts. Outside of Cunningham, there has been quite a bit of shuffling along the o-line.


Linebacker Grant Morgan is the leader of the Arkansas defense. The senior captain ranks second in the SEC and is seventh nationally averaging 11.6 tackles per game and leads the team with 58 tackles. The former walk-on made a career-high 19 tackles with 3.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, two passes broken up and an interception return for a touchdown in the Week 4 win over Ole Miss.

In defensive coordinator Barry Odom’s 4-2-5 defense, Bumper Pool starts next to Morgan at linebacker and is just as productive. Pool is second on the team in total tackles (58) and his average of 12.5 tackles per game paces the SEC and ranks third nationally. Last week against Texas A&M, Pool had a game-high 14 tackles with a career-high 3.0 tackles for loss. Pool was second of the team with 94 tackles last season.

Arkansas’ secondary consists of a bunch of ballhawks. The Hogs have 10 interceptions on the season which ranks second in the nation. They had six interceptions all of last season. Arkansas intercepted three passes in its Week 2 win at No. 16 Mississippi State and tied the third-highest program mark with six in Week 4 against Ole Miss.

Sophomore Greg Brooks Jr., redshirt freshman Jalen Catalon, and Morgan have registered pick-sixes. Junior Joe Foucha (2) and redshirt freshman Hudson Clark (3) have recorded multi-interception games.

Arkansas’ defensive line has struggled this season. It’s led to the Hogs allowing 178.2 yards per game on the ground, third-most in the SEC. The defense as a whole ranks ninth in the SEC in sacks per game at 1.80.

Special Teams

Duke transfer A.J. Reed serves as Arkansas’ kicker. Reed is 5-for-7 on his field goal attempts this season and has made all 12 of his extra point attempts. He’s a perfect 5-for-5 inside 40-yards, but he’s missed both of his attempts beyond 40-yards.

At punter, Arkansas has had three punters kick this season. Michigan transfer George Caratan has punted 16 times for an average of 45.4 yards per punt, while Reid Bauer has punted 12 times for an averaged of 44.1 yards, respectively. Sam Loy has punted three times for an average of 40.3 yards.

Arkansas’ return game has been nonexistent this season. Star wide receiver Treylon Burks has home run ability, but he’s yet to return a kick or a punt this season. The Razorbacks have only returned one punt and one kick this season. Nathan Parodi returned Arkansas’ only punt return for a loss of one-yard, while DeVion Warren’s lone kick return went for 10-yards.

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