Tennessee football vs UTSA: Score prediction, scouting report for Vols vs Roadrunners

Tennessee football has plenty to fix heading into its third nonconference game.

No. 20 Tennessee (2-1) hosts UTSA (1-2) on Saturday (4 p.m. ET, SEC Network) at Neyland Stadium after the Vols lost 29-16 to Florida in Gainesville, Florida, in Week 3.

Here is what to know about the matchup:

Former Vols linebacker Martavius French is key for UTSA

Former Vols linebacker Martavius French had a career-high 10 tackles for UTSA in its 37-29 loss to Army in Week 2. He leads the Roadrunners with 17 tackles in his second season at UTSA.

French transferred to UTSA after a season at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. French, a high school teammate of Vols defenders Tamarion McDonald and Bryson Eason, did not get playing time in his lone season at UT in 2020.

Can Tennessee get its running backs back on track?

Tennessee's rushing attacked looked stout through two games with 287 yards against Virginia and 228 against Austin Peay. Then the Vols faced Florida's defense and that rushing attack halted. UT had 100 yards on 30 attempts against the Gators.

UT's longest run against Florida was 12 yards, while Jaylen Wright was bottled up after back-to-back 100-yard games to open the season.

UTSA generated preseason attention

UTSA wasn't ranked in the Top 25 entering the season, but was among the highest-regarded unranked teams in the coaches poll. The Roadrunners received the fourth-most votes among unranked teams behind Iowa, South Carolina and Florida. They also got the fourth-most votes outside of the Top 25 in the preseason AP Poll.

Joshua Cephus is the go-to guy − no matter who's at QB for UTSA

Senior wide receiver Joshua Cephus is the go-to guy for UTSA with 24 catches for 247 yards and two touchdowns in three games. He has been consistent, too, with seven, eight and nine receptions in each game.

He had eight catches for 84 yards and a touchdown against Army in quarterback Eddie Lee Marburger's first start in place of the injured Frank Harris. Harris missed the game after 36 straight starts and is day-to-day, according to UTSA coach Jeff Traylor. Marburger completed 17 of 25 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns.

Tennessee-UTSA score prediction

Tennessee 33, UTSA 20: The Vols get back to winning but it's another clunky game for Tennessee's offense, which won't have it figured out yet heading into the full swing of SEC play.

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee-UTSA score prediction: Can Vols get back on track?