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Neal leads resurgence of Vols' rushing attack

Associated Press Modified: October 3, 2012 at 4:46 am •  Published: October 3, 2012

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee tailback Rajion Neal's preseason goal of leading the Southeastern Conference in rushing may have seemed overly ambitious, considering the Volunteers had one of the nation's weakest ground attacks last year.

The idea isn't far-fetched anymore.

Five weeks into the season, Neal ranks second in the SEC in total yards rushing (460) and fourth in yards rushing per game (92.0). He already has 103 carries, 11 more than anyone else in the conference. He has exceeded 100 yards in each of his last two games, including a 104-yard effort last week in a 51-44 loss to No. 5 Georgia.

Neal has surprised just about everyone but himself.

Tennessee averaged just 2.8 yards per carry last season and finished the year with 1,081 rushing yards, their worst output since 1964.