Everyone’s talking about the great matchups this weekend. Ohio State visits Penn State, Oklahoma St. vs. Texas, UGA vs. LSU, and Eastern Michigan at Ball state to name a few. Sadly enough, the UT/Bama game is really on no one’s radar around the sporting world despite it’s rich tradition. It’s not surprising, seeing as though Tennessee has played like the scout team of the League of Women Voters.
When I started to write this post, I went to go look up the Vegas line and see how badly we were expected to lose. Interestingly, Tennessee is only a 6.5 point underdog. But that’s dependent on which Tennessee team, and more importantly, which Bama team, decides to show up to play. If everyone’s favorite craptastic Tennessee team shows up, it could be a long evening. It wouldn’t even matter if the Bama team bus got lost on their way to the stadium and have to play with members of the Million Dollar Band instead, because no one can match Tennessee stride for stride in sucking prowess this year.
Most importantly, the Tennessee defense has to come to play like it’s the last game of the season. With Eric Berry, Robert Ayers, and Ellix Wilson leading a very talented crew, expect the defense to yet again keep the team in the game. It’ll be crucial to create turnovers and get the offense more chances with the ball because whether they like it or not, they’re the team’s best chance for scoring points.
Also, maybe we should consider lining up closer than 10 yards off of opposing receivers. It’s nice to protect against big plays, but it sucks getting eaten by a lot of small ones. It’s like being beaten down by a class of 5th graders. Individually, they don’t seem that tough, but when there’s 50 of them, the little fists start to hurt.
Be afraid. Be very, very afraid
Next, Nick Stephens needs to continue to be smart with the ball. He’s been lucky to have not thrown an interception yet, but his luck has to eventually run out, especially if by “luck,” we mean “not being given the opportunity to throw the ball in almost any situation.” If he continues to make smart throws and makes plays when he has to, then he’ll keep us in the game.
Surviving the first half is key as Saban’s squad is notorious for falilng apart in the last 2 quarters. Keeping it close for the first 30 minutes will increase the probability we can come out ahead in the end.
Overall, this boils down to a must win situation for Fulmer. Winning the game won’t assure him his job come January, but it’ll give him an argument to keep it. At this point, he needs all of those he can get.
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