- Associated Press - Thursday, September 8, 2016

No. 17 Tennessee (1-0) vs. Virginia Tech (1-0) at Bristol Motor Speedway, 8 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Tennessee by 11 ½

Series Record: Tennessee leads 5-3

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Tennessee is seeking to remain in the Top 25 and justify its preseason No. 9 ranking after struggling in a 20-13 overtime triumph over Appalachian State last week. The Volunteers also are seeking their eighth straight victory over the last two seasons. Virginia Tech might reach the Top 25 if it wins. A Virginia Tech win also would give the Atlantic Coast Conference a 3-1 record against Southeastern Conference teams this season.

KEY MATCHUP

Virginia Tech WR Isaiah Ford vs. Tennessee CB Cam Sutton. Ford, a 6-foot-2 junior, caught 11 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown in a season-opening victory over Liberty after collecting 75 receptions for 1,164 and 11 scores last year. Sutton, who is 5-11 and a four-year starter, recorded his seventh career interception last week.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tennessee: QB Joshua Dobbs. Although he had a game-tying 67-yard touchdown completion to Josh Malone last week, Dobbs otherwise struggled. He went 16 of 29 for 192 yards and was held to negative rushing yards for the first time in his career. Dobbs took a hard shot to the chest on his final carry last week but says he’s feeling fine. Tennessee coach Butch Jones has said Dobbs is “100 percent healthy.”

Virginia Tech: QB Jerod Evans. The newcomer from Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College engineers Virginia Tech’s new up-tempo offense. Evans threw four touchdown passes and was the Hokies’ leading rusher in his Virginia Tech debut.

FACTS & FIGURES

This game is expected to draw over 150,000 fans and shatter the NCAA single-game attendance record of 115,109 who watched a 2013 Michigan victory over Notre Dame at Michigan Stadium. … Tennessee’s seven-game winning streak is its longest since 2001. … Tennessee’s Jalen Hurd has rushed for at least 100 yards in four straight games. … Ford has a school-record four straight 100-yard receiving games for Virginia Tech. … Virginia Tech is wearing an alternate “Hokie Stone” uniform for this game. A form of gray is the jersey’s prominent color and is included in the “VT” portion of the helmet.

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The AP’s college football page: https://collegefootball.ap.org

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