KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Identifying Tennessee's problem is simple: Its defense gives up too many points. Solving the problem has been more complicated.
The Volunteers have allowed 31.5 points per game, the highest average since the 1893 team gave up 42.7 in a six-game season. Tennessee's struggles this season continued Saturday with a 41-31 loss at No. 19 Mississippi State -- which racked up 450 yards on offense.
Tennessee (3-3, 0-3 SEC) has given up 429.8 total yards per game. The Vols haven't given up that many yards per game since at least 1950, the earliest year for which the Tennessee media guide includes annual totals for yards allowed.
Next up is No. 1 Alabama, which has scored at least 33 points in each of its first six games.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)