By: The All Vol Call in Show Staff
It's hard to believe we are already seven weeks into the college football season. What's even harder to believe is that no one truly knows who the "top dog" in the SEC is right now. Every team in the conference has played good games and bad games. Saturday's match up between the #Vols and #Aggies will be a telling game for both teams involved, and could be season-defining, as each look to separate themselves from the rest of the pack in their respective divisions.
Founder, Managing Director, Producer, Host
I have went back-and-forth on this game all week. Texas A&M and Tennessee look about as even as two teams can look coming into this game. However, there is one huge difference: Neyland Stadium. There has already been one "game for the ages" played in this series. Back in 2016, in College Station, Trevor Knight and the #Aggies were triumphant in a 2OT match up that saw the eighth and ninth ranked teams in the country battle down-to-the-wire.
Saturday's contest could be very similar. Tennessee has played in, and won, more overtime games than any other team in CFB history. The #Aggies are 0-7 in their last seven road games, while the #Vols are 12-0 in their last 12 games in Neyland Stadium.
I absolutely love what Tennessee has been able to do on the ground this season. They're one of the best rushing teams in the entire nation. I think that, plus a great showing from the defensive line, could be what proves to be the deciding factor in this game. Tennessee leads the nation in sacks, and are fifth in the country in tackles-for-loss. I like Tennessee in a close one.
Prediction: Tennessee - 38 | Texas A&M - 35 (OT)
Senior Staff Writer, Junior Editor, Content Manager, Co-Host
For me, this is the hardest game we’ve had to predict so far. The game will be won in the trenches, and I’m unsure how I feel about that. We've all seen the stats comparing the two teams, and while the numbers do favor Tennessee, the difference in schedules bothers me. I’m giving Tennessee a slight edge. The Vols are at home and have Josh Heupel while Jimbo Fisher leads Texas A&M.
Prediction: Tennessee - 21 | Texas A&M - 20
Senior Staff Writer, Co-Host
Tennessee’s defense looked the part against South Carolina and the offense did enough as well. Joe Milton looked better, the run game continued to dominate, and Tennessee handled the Gamecocks with little resistance. Texas A&M is a tougher game, in my opinion. I think that the Aggies have one of the most athletic and talented rosters in the country. This will be a close one, and it could be the make-or-break game for Tennessee’s season. Neyland will be rocking, Tennessee wins.
Prediction: Tennessee - 31 | Texas A&M - 24
Junior Staff Writer
It’s crazy how every SEC game just feels so crucial to win, and that’s because when there are only eight of them per year, they really are. Texas A&M finally gets to really experience Neyland Stadium for the first time in their SEC stint, and the checkered crowd will have to do their part to swing the game Tennessee’s way.
Both teams are similar defensively, with strong fronts and vulnerable secondaries. Both have proven to be capable of disrupting an opponent’s offensive flow by generating high volumes of sacks and TFL’s. Which team’s embattled offensive line will hold up better? It feels like for the A&M offense, the whole has always been less than the sum of its parts. The receiver room is elite, the RB’s are solid, and Max Johnson is better than most backups. Though I trust the Vol defense to do well based on what I’ve seen so far, there’s always the scary potential that all that Aggie talent finally just clicks.
An underrated stat from the Texas A&M defense is that the Aggies have yet to give up a rushing TD in the red zone this season. While I think the Vols will be able to move the ball fine between the 20’s, they may need to hit a few timely passes in a shrunken field to come away with 7 instead of 3. Joe Milton hit such a pass to Jacob Warren on 3rd and goal against South Carolina.
This game will be an absolute slobberknocker, and I don’t foresee a particularly high-scoring affair either. It may look somewhat similar to what we saw from Texas A&M’s last game against Alabama. I think it likely comes down to the final minute, but I have to give a slight edge to the more rested team at home, with who I believe is the better coaching staff in 2023. Between the two, I trust Josh Heupel to put his guys in position to manufacture points against a tough defensive front more than I trust Jimbo Fisher to do the same.
Prediction: Tennessee - 27 | Texas A&M - 24
Junior Staff Writer
If ever two teams were playing under the capacity of their roster these two are it. Texas A&M visits Neyland Saturday to take on the Vols in the CBS game of the week. The Aggies are 4-2 on the season having lost to Miami and Alabama. This roster may be as talented as any in America but the Fighting Jimbo Fishers continue to play pretty middle of the road.
Meanwhile the Vols have their own "how did we just lose to that mediocre team from the state of Florida" blemish on their own record. Tennessee is starting a pivotal stretch that will define the season. The Vols next 5 conference opponents are currently 25-5. There are no gimmes on the horizon. Tennessee needs to win this badly and get the stretch started off right.
This game is really hard to predict as we haven't seen two "which team will show up" teams like this match up this season. But, I am truly hopeful as the general public believes nearly 70% that A&M will win…usually the general public is wrong.
Prediction: Tennessee - 30 | Texas A&M - 24