By: John Dunn
The All Vol Call in Show/Daily News
September 9, 2019.
Predictions included from:
- Anthony Cloud (All Vol Call in Show/Daily News)
- Rachel Ward (All Vol Call in Show)
- Wesley Hayes (All Vol Call in Show)
- Matthew Whalen (All Vol Call in Show)
After suffering the fourth worst loss in college football history last week at the hands of the Georgia State Panthers, the Tennessee Volunteers are looking to bounce back in a big way.
Earlier this week, Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings addressed the media, saying, "I didn't sign up for a one-game fight; this is a 12-game fight." Jennings continued, saying, "I feel like this team wasn’t juiced up on the sideline and as a leader, I take full responsibility for that,”
“I’ve got to be out there, and I’ve got to be in their heads, in their ears 24-7. As a leader, I admit that I did not do that. From this week and here on out, that’s what I’m going to focus on doing – making sure that this team knows that we’ve got a lot of fight left in us and we’re not going to give up,” said Jennings.
Jennings wrapped up by saying, “As a leader, I’ve just come out each and every day fired up. I want to let these guys know that what happened last weekend is unacceptable, and it won’t happen again. We continue to prepare for this weekend and, as a leader, I just made sure I keep their heads up.”
It seems that the players have done some soul-searching this week in hopes of identifying the problems within the locker room. While some problems have been addressed, others will take time to correct. Do the Vols have it in them to put aside their week-one embarrassment and take care care of business against the Cougars?
John Dunn: There are no excuses to be made for the Vols' week-one opening loss to an extremely inferior (no offense) Georgia State team.
However, the Panthers' victory goes to show that the team that wants to win more, will win the game. I expect to see a lot of "want to" out of this Tennessee team this week.
I refuse to believe that Jeremy Pruitt and the rest of this coaching staff will allow themselves to be embarrassed like that again. It will be a night game in Neyland Stadium, which should lend a helping hand to the team, if the Volunteer fan base actually shows up, as per Jenning's request.
I expect a big game out of Jarrett Guarantano, Ty Chandler, Marquez Callaway and Jauan Jennings on the offensive side of the ball. Look for Darrell Taylor, Nigel Warrior and Alonte Taylor to have big days for the Tennessee defense.
All-in-all, I think we will get our first real glimpse of this team against the Cougars. The team was looking ahead to this game in week-one, so they better show up to play now that it's actually here. Last week's loss was a major wake-up call for this team. I expect that Tennessee forces at least three takeaways this game.
Prediction: 38-28, Tennessee.
Anthony Cloud: The way you view Tennessee’s game against Georgia State will reflect how good you feel about their chances against BYU on Saturday. If you look at it as a disaster reminiscent of a Greek tragedy, then you probably aren’t liking the Vols chances against the Cougars.
On the other hand, if you’re like me and believe it is a wake-up call, then you believe that Tennessee will walk away with their first win of the season.
BYU is a team that doesn’t mind airing it out. Based on the short amount of film that I’ve seen, they like to throw the ball outside the hashes. The same applies for their running game – they are not trying to run between the tackles that often.
It will be key for Tennessee’s defense to protect the edge and try to force everything back inside. Our defensive ends can’t get sealed inside because the Cougar running backs have the speed to take it the distance if given the
BYU’s quarterback isn’t afraid to throw off balance and made some horrible passes against Utah with several interceptions being dropped by Utah’s defensive backs. I believe Tennessee’s defenders will take those opportunities in stride.
On defense, the BYU line found trouble penetrating to the quarterback – allowing Utah’s Tyler Huntley to go 13-for-16 through the air. The Cougars had trouble defending against the run as well with Utah’s Zach Moss rushing for 187 yards on 29 carries.
With all that said, I believe Tennessee will be able to utilize the backfield trio of Ty Chandler, Eric Gray and Tim Jordan to open up passing lanes for Jarrett Guarantano.
Look for Guarantano to improve off his 26-for-40 performance. I’m predicting at least three passing touchdowns this
week for the junior.
Prediction: 31-14, Tennessee.
Rachel Ward: Looking to Saturday’s night game against BYU, which will be under the lights the second half, it will be interesting to see where the energy is at.
The Vols are coming off the worst loss in Tennessee history and the 4th worst loss in college football history. That sentence hurts and it hurts badly. However, thinking optimistically, maybe that game will be the driving force that causes the Vols to play better and want better.
In a surprise twist from usual, the defensive side of the ball was where a lot of the focus of “what went wrong” came from. Georgia State gained 213 rushing yards to the Vols’ 93. (This GSU team was also 124th in rushing defense a year ago. This fact and the difference in rushing yards alone should raise some eyebrows) If there is anything that Coach Pruitt could specialize in as a head coach, it’s going to be the defensive side of the ball due to his background.
He realized the defense didn’t do much right and that’s pretty concerning. Can the Vols’ defense stop a BYU team with a stronger offensive line? Offensively, there were many missed opportunities for the ball to get in the end zone (insert one too many sacks and a ball that didn’t go to a wide open Jauan Jennings in the end zone.) If the fans turn out, the energy is there and the Vols’ worked hard this week to correct their mistakes (which I believe they did,) I’ll give them the slight edge.
Prediction: 21-17, Tennessee.
Wesley Hayes: Tennessee looks to bounce back against a solid BYU team after a inexplicable loss to Georgia State. The Cougars' offense begins and ends with starting QB Zack Wilson.
Wilson played in nine games as a freshman and started the final seven. With WIlson at the helm, BYU’s offense experienced a jump in all major categories including yards, scoring, and touchdowns. Wilson had an off week against rival Utah. He completed 21/33 for 208 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions.
BYU also returns Wilson’s biggest target, Matt Bushman. Bushman is 6’5 245 lbs., and had a solid outing last week against Utah catching six passes for 62 yards. BYU has a very solid front seven, even after having LB Sione Takitaki drafted in the third round of the NFL draft.
It’s hard to predict what the Vols are going to do this week in terms of win or lose, but I definitely think we see more passion and energy for this game. With that being said, I think Tennessee manages to find a way to pull this game out, and right the ship.
Prediction: 21-17, Tennessee.
Matthew Whalen: There will be fireworks in Neyland Stadium on Saturday night, as both Tennessee and BYU look to get their first win of the season. Tennessee will have to eliminate the some big mistakes it made against Georgia State and come out of the locker room with fire. BYU poses similar match up problems in their formations as Georgia State.
Tennessee must keep BYU's mobile Quarterback in the pocket or Saturday will be a long night. Tennessee will come out firing on all cylinders Saturday night and put a Cougar pelt on the mantle that evening.
Prediction: 34-20, Tennessee.