KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee coach Butch Jones is challenging his team's toughness amid concerns the Volunteers are wearing down as they play their fifth straight game against a ranked opponent.
The Vols (4-5, 1-4 SEC) will face a fifth consecutive team ranked 11th or better Saturday when they host No. 7 Auburn (8-1, 4-1). According to STATS LLC, Tennessee is the first team since Pittsburgh in 1993 to play seven ranked foes in a span of eight games within the same season.
After losing 45-10 at No. 1 Alabama and 31-3 at No. 9 Missouri, Tennessee will play a third straight top-10 foe Saturday for the first time since 1964.
Instead of going easy on his team, Jones is turning up the intensity and having the Vols work out in full pads.
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