Tennessee Football Three Keys: Mississippi State

Three keys Tennessee

Tennessee faces Mississippi State on Saturday in Knoxville. Here are your three keys to a Tennessee win over Mississippi State.

By Steve Wright

Tennessee looks to get back on the winning track on Saturday against Mississippi State after a couple of demoralizing losses at the hands of Florida and Georgia.

Key 1 – Be ready for anything at QB

The Bulldogs come into this one with some quarterback questions. They were rinsed 56-23 last time out against Auburn, with No. 1 passer Tommy Stevens leaving the game with an ankle injury. This is not the first time in 2019 that Stevens has been hurt, with the Penn State transfer missing the Kentucky game with a shoulder issue. The Mississippi State hope is that Stevens got healthy over their bye, but if he doesn’t go the freshman Garrett Shrader would get the nod. Shrader is a different type of quarterback to Stevens and is much more of a threat to run. The Vols defense needs to be prepared to face either player.

Key 2 – Stop Kylin Hill

The Bulldogs running back entered the game against Auburn as the leading rusher in the SEC. The Tigers were able to shut Hill down – they limited him to just 45 yards on 17 carries – but with a week off to get ready for this game the Vols can expect to see plenty of Hill with the ball. The Mississippi State back has just shy of 600 yards and has scored five touchdowns on the season and he is a threat to score from anywhere on the field.

Key 3 – Play the game smart

The biggest issue in the second half against Georgia was that the passing attack couldn’t get going. The Georgia defensive backs played better coverage, meaning that Brian Maurer had to hold onto the ball longer to try to find a window to throw. That created increased pressure in the pocket and bad timing on throws downfield. Mississippi State isn’t as talented as Georgia in the defensive backfield, so it will be up to Tennessee to play the game smart, taking advantage of mismatches where they are available to win the game.

Saturday‘s game kicks off at 11:00 AM CT (12:00 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.

This Week’s SEC Football News and Analysis

GameFirst Looks3 Keys
HighlightsFinal Stats
South Carolina vs. GeorgiaUSC / UGAUSC / UGAPreviewUSC 20, UGA 17Stats
Arkansas vs. KentuckyArky / KentuckyArky / KentuckyPreviewUK 24, Arky 17Stats
Florida vs. LSUFlorida / LSULSU / FloridaPreviewLSU 42, Florida 28Stats
Ole Miss vs. MissouriOle Miss / MizzouOle Miss / MizzouPreviewMizzou 38, Ole Miss 27Stats
Mississippi State vs. TennesseeTennessee / MSUMSU / TennesseePreviewTennessee 20, MSU 10Stats
Alabama vs. Texas A&MBama / A&MA&M / BamaPreviewBama 47, A&M 28Stats
UNLV vs. VanderbiltUNLVVandyPreviewUNLV 34, Vandy 10Stats
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