KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Third-down situations suddenly are cause for cheer rather than fear at Tennessee.
Tennessee opponents have converted just seven of their 31 third-down situations through the first two weeks of the season, a remarkable turnaround for a defense that struggled in those scenarios the last few years. Tennessee ranked ninth or lower in the Southeastern Conference in third-down conversion defense each of the last four seasons.
That improved third-down defense faces its biggest test of the season Saturday when the Vols visit No. 4 Oklahoma and attempt to end their recent run of road futility against ranked foes. Tennessee has lost its last 19 road games against Top 25 teams.
Tennessee ranks 13th among all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in third-down conversion defense after finishing 92nd in that category last year.
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