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  • adumitru62

Tennessee Preview

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

Pre-World Series champion Dtru likely would have gone into extreme detail about the 2016 Josh Dobbs walk off TD game at Sanford Stadium. That game caused me a lot of pain. However, I was born again last week, and am now a fountain of positive vibes. My idol, Blooper, summed it up perfectly.

Instead, I'll share a story that took place in the global good times emporium (and my 2nd favorite city in the world), Las Vegas. It just so happens that our good friend Brett chose Las Vegas as the destination for his bachelor party, and it fell on the same weekend as the 2019 UGA-Tennessee game. UGA was a 24.5 point favorite against the Vols, and, being a group of degenerate gamblers, we all decided to lay the points with our Dawgs.

Strange things happen in Knoxville, and the Vols were actually leading for most of the 2nd quarter. Surely the Dawgs would pull away in the second half, and the fellas could cash in the -24.5 ticket. But, in case you forgot, 2019 was the James Coley show. Points were hard to come by. The Dawgs took a 36-14 lead with 8 minutes left, but needed another score to cover. On the ensuing drive, the Vols crossed midfield with under 5 minutes to go. Was about ready to trash my ticket. But, Eric Stokes said enough is enough, and decided to LAY THE HAMMER. His truckstick forced a fumble, which led to a 60-yard TD return by my 3rd favorite Bulldog of all time. The future Mr. Irrelevant, Tae Crowder. Conveniently, this was also the deciding score with respect to the Dawgs covering. Woof woof.

Pandemonium ensued at the LINQ. Maybe that's a bit hyperbolic, but we were juiced up and feeding off the Voluntears. This is one of those rare gambling wins that I will never forget. Pure joy with my crew. I'm hoping for more of this in the coming weeks and months.

High level hitters

  • After week 10, Bill Connelly's SP+ ranks Tennessee 20th overall (12th offensive and 35th defensive).

  • Tennessee beat Kentucky 45-42 in Lexington last week. This was a WILD game. Tennessee only had eight 3rd down attempts in this game, probably because they averaged an absurd 9.8 yards per play. That is what I call explosive.

  • The Vols ripped off big play after big play, as you can probably gather from the scoring drive summary shown below. A bunch of missed tackles by Kentucky certainly contributed to the quick scores. Either way, Josh Heupel seems to have things moving in the right direction.

  • Not to get too far off topic, but I'd like to think the football gods were getting revenge on the cowardly Mark Stoops last week. I can't get past Kentucky's shameless backdoor cover against the Dawgs in Week 8 (yours truly and our friends Mikey and Kimmy all had Dawgs -21.5). Unlike Clay Travis, I did not respect the move.

What to watch for

  • Senior Hendon Hooker (a Virginia Tech transfer) has been awesome since taking over as the starting QB for the Vols. You could reasonably make the case that Hooker is having the best season of any quarterback in the SEC. He has 21 passing TDs, with only 2 interceptions. Beyond that, he has 450+ rushing yards and is a true dual-threat.

  • Hooker is averaging 10.2 YPA, a testament to the explosive nature of the Vols' offense. Furthermore, the Vols play with tempo, and can score in a flash.

  • Tennessee ran a ton of WR screens last week. JaVonta Payton had a 75 yard TD reception off a screen on the first play from scrimmage. I would guess they will try their luck again with the screens against the Dawgs.

  • Senior Velus Jones Jr. is the leading receiver for the Vols, and added a long TD against Kentucky.

  • Cedric Tillman is another threat at WR for the Vols, with over 500 yards (14.6 YPC) on the season.

  • Kelee Ringo, Derrion Kendrick, and Latavious Brini are pretty damn good open field tacklers based on what I have seen. As a result, I think the Dawgs will fare a lot better than Kentucky did against 1) WR screens and 2) limiting explosive plays. It also helps when you have the hardest hitting safety in the league, Lewis Cine, and Chris Smith rounding out the defensive backfield.

  • The Vols are dealing with some injuries at the running back position according to Bud Elliott. It could be problematic for Tennessee if they are unable to at least threaten to run the ball.

  • The Tennessee defense is going to be amped for this game and is a pretty decent group overall. It's worth noting that the defense struggled mightily with missed tackles in the Kentucky game, and was on the field for 99 plays according to Josh Pate. That unit might be gassed before the game starts. We shall see.

I would not be surprised if Tennessee hangs around for a little while in Saturday's game. The Vols nearly knocked off Ole Miss in Knoxville earlier this season, and stayed within a score of Alabama for 3+ quarters in Tuscaloosa. Neyland Stadium is a tough place to play, and I'm sure the fans will be liquored up to the maximum on Saturday. Some early stops by the Junkyard Dawgs defense would be huge, and I would be willing to bet that Dan Lanning and CKS will have something cooking. I don't think Tennessee has the talent to match the Dawgs for 4 quarters, and I expect the Dawgs to eventually pull away. The message this week is survive and advance. LFG.

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Britney Bergeron
Britney Bergeron
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Blooper 😂

Nov 12, 2021
Replying to

He’s the 🐐🐐

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