By Andrew Edwards
The news around Knoxville is that the Tennessee Vols are improving. Who could deny that after an impressive 20-10 victory last weekend against Mississippi State? It was easily Tennessee’s best defensive performance of the season, as the Vols held the Bulldogs to 267 total yards while forcing three turnovers.
There were also some positives on the offensive side of the football as well. The highly criticized Jarrett Guarantano stepped in for injured starter Brian Maurer and performed quite well, completing 6 of 7 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown.
But let’s set one thing straight. This doesn’t necessarily mean the 34.5 underdog vols are going to walk into Bryant-Denny tomorrow night and steal a win.
The Vols (2-4) are not going to see a more explosive offense like the number one ranked Crimson Tide all season. Furthermore, in the two games that they have faced ranked opponents this year, the Vols have been out-scored 77-17. That’s not including bad losses to BYU and Georgia State.
The Tide, on the other hand, are coming into this game with the second most points per game in the country and the third best passing offense. If you pair that with the several Tennessee players announcing this week that they don’t believe Alabama is ‘championship worthy’, then you’re probably going to have a recipe for disaster. Saban always finds ways to motivate his team, and if you don’t think he’s using that as bulletin board material – then think again.
Alabama’s leading passing catcher, Devonta Smith, appears to be suspended for the first half the game. Tennessee seems to be improving. The game is late and no one is giving the Vols a chance. Look for Tennessee to keep this one very close…for about half a quarter.
Prediction: 52-17 Alabama