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Voldilocks and the Three Bears

One of my favorite Saturday morning/early afternoon activities involves scrolling Twitter to look for the collection of banners that hang from fraternity/sorority houses, and of course the College GameDay signs. Each week, America's finest creative minds put their work on display for everyone to enjoy. Bangers every Saturday! There are some absolute savages in the streets of your local college town, just keep that in mind. In September of 2017, Tennessee fans took it to another level. There are no formal rules of engagement with these signs, and they can be pretty ruthless. However, most people generally steer clear of targeting players on the mend from catastrophic injuries. The sign below (among others), tells you everything you need to know about Vol nation.

To give some context in case you don't remember, Nick Chubb suffered a horrific knee injury in the 2015 loss at Neyland Stadium. You may also remember that later in that game, our friend Brett's favorite player Greyson Lambert threw a potentially game tying dime that was dropped in the end zone with 4 minutes left. But, I digress. Since that sign was displayed, the Dawgs have absolutely destroyed the Vols, outscoring Tenn 207-64 in the last 5 meetings. This includes the 41-0 victory in Nick Chubb's return to Neyland Stadium a few days after the sign above was rolled out. The football gods can be karmic! I would love nothing more than to keep this streak going and to watch the Vols' fairy tale run hit a major road block on Saturday.

Dtru's nickels

  1. After week 9, Bill Connelly's SP+ has Tennessee ranked 5th overall (2nd offensive and 34th defensive).

  2. Tennessee is ranked 19th overall in the 247 Sports College Football Team Talent Composite.

  3. After another nearly flawless performance in last week's 44-6 blowout win over Kentucky, Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker is now the front-runner in the live Heisman trophy odds listed on FanDuel. Hooker is 2nd in the country with a QBR of 91.2 per ESPN, and in addition to being tremendously accurate, he frustrates opposing defenses with his mobility. Beyond that, Hooker does not turn the ball over, with just 1 interception so far in 2022. Tennessee has consistently racked up explosive plays since Josh Heupel took over as head coach. The trend continued last week, with Hooker throwing TD passes of 55 and 31 yards to Jalin Hyatt. Speaking of Hyatt, he has also crept into the Heisman conversation and has the 10th best odds to win the trophy. Going in to the season, Hyatt wasn't even considered the best receiver on Tennessee team, with that title going to Cedric Tillman who has battled an ankle injury for most of the year but returned to action last week against Kentucky. With a reborn Bru Mcoy, and Marietta, GA native Ramel Keyton also making big strides this season, you can see there the Volunteers have a deep arsenal of receivers with big play ability (all 4 are averaging at least 15 yards per reception).

  4. The Tennessee pass defense has been a liability for most of the season. That being said, the Volunteers made some lineup changes in the defensive backfield which paid big dividends against Kentucky, including moving Deniko Slaughter to one of the corner spots. The rushing defense has been excellent, holding Jahmyr Gibbs to 4.3 YPC and keeping Chris Rodriguez in check last week. For what it's worth, I think the Dawgs have the best OL Tennessee has faced so this should present a different type of challenge for the Vols.

  5. See the screenshot below for a basic comparison from ESPN that I found interesting. The Tennessee passing offense gets most of the attention from the national media, but the running game led by Jaylen Wright and Jabari Small has averaged almost the same amount of rushing yards per game as UGA's. On the flip side, the Dawgs are not always credited for having a productive passing offense, despite averaging only 23 fewer passing yards per game than Tennessee. I'll concede that the Dawgs have racked up their pass yards without the consistent, downfield explosive passes that Tennessee has been able to convert all season. But, I think we might see Todd Monken pull out a few tricks on Saturday.

Our favorite sharp, Kritesh aka The Notorious K.R.I.T, has provided his pick this week. Dawgs 45 - Vols 31. For those keeping score, Kritesh is 1-0 this season when making guest picks on Dtru's Dimes. Far better record than yours truly!

My parting thoughts- I'm looking way ahead here, but bear with me. The window of opportunity closes quickly in college football. You have to capitalize when you get there, because unless you're Alabama, nothing is guaranteed. That's a big part of the reason the Dawgs' loss in the national championship game was so painful. Took us 4 years to get back, and it felt like an eternity. Goes without saying that this is a massive game for both teams. Losing in Athens on Saturday certainly would not eliminate the Tennessee from the playoff picture. After all, the Dawgs managed to get in the CFP playoff in the 2017 season after taking a good ole fashion ass whopping at Auburn. But, it would make things complicated for the Vols because they would need a lot of help to get in. The Dawgs still controlled their destiny in 2017, even after the Auburn loss.

Tennessee will lose a lot of offensive firepower after this season, and some on defense too. The transfer portal will help them fill the voids, but that's not a foolproof strategy for building a roster. It feels like this season has provided Vol nation with an opportunity that may not come along again soon. I would love nothing more than to crush their face on Saturday. Shout out to Uncle Larry!

Go Dawgs!!

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1 commentaire

04 nov. 2022

Dawgs 34 - Buttchuggers 24.

Hillbillies will be humbled this weekend, but they may get another shot at us in Atlanta in the Peach Bowl.


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