Tennessee at (4)Oklahoma
Saturday September 13, 2014 8:00 pm EDT ABC
In the mind of Bob Stoops, this game is all about his conference vs the SEC. In the mind of Butch Jones, this game is one more opportunity to showcase the improvement of his program to a primetime national audience and add another brick to the foundation he is building in Knoxville.
Oklahoma’s balanced, powerful offense has outscored their first two opponents 62-3 in the opening 30 minutes. Tennessee’s opponents are only 7-for-31 on third-down situations, a marked improvement over last season’s underwhelming defense. On the other side of the ball, the Sooners have allowed only 74 rushing yards a game with 4 INTs added for good measure. Tennessee’s attack is fueled by the passing game as the rushing attack appears languid against mediocre competition. Unfortunately, injuries to WR Von Pearson and TE Ethan Wolf create a challenge for the Vols’ most productive portion of their offense.
So, the bottom line is that I may be leaving my couch just a tad early for Saturday dinner out as my prediction is Oklahoma 47 Tennessee 14.
Look for Stoops to run up the score. Then it will be our turn to have a burr up the butt to carry forward when Oklahoma comes to Knoxville next season.
What say you?
p.s., After this game, you will better understand why our opponents hate “Rocky Top.” Oklahoma’s “Boomer Sooner” is as obnoxious as a fight song can get.
The University of Oklahoma is asking its fans attending Saturday evening’s game against Tennessee in Norman to wear red if they are sitting in certain sections or wear white if they are sitting in adjacent sections.
This request is dubbed an OU tradition known as “Stripe the Stadium.” Here is the instruction chart…
Some consider this a “must win” for the Sooners in their 2014 campaign.
Frankly, I’m deeply honored that the OU football program is taking the Vols so seriously. [Have they seen our offensive line? special teams?]
Will this make any difference to the gargantuan point spread that is likely to be realized by an Oklahoma squad that is stacked to the hilt with talent?
What say you?
This question is prompted by a comment I heard about, and the specific worry is that Butch might be lured back to his home state of Michigan.
The Wolverines football program has fallen to sub-standard, and their head coach might be shown the door by season’s end.
Could the powers in Ann Arbor come knocking for a certain head coach in Knoxville?
Well, perhaps they could. But to fully flush this out, you would be talking about a contract renegotiation/extension/buyout clause change as a way to protect what we have. And that prompts the next questions: What do we have? And is what we have worth a potential elaborate increase in an already lucrative contract?
Those ‘next questions’ are objectively premature, but I think all signs point to ‘we got the real deal now’.
And just like the case of Jon Gruden, why would Butch Jones even want to go to the University of Michigan? Yes, Michigan is his home state, but he didn’t attend/play for the University.
All such talk at this stage of the game is complete hooey. It is prompted by a nervous fan base that got spurned by Kiffin’s one-and-done (which in the opinion of many has turned out to be a GOOD thing).
Or, to be more accurate, if the VolNation has nothing to worry about, they will create something to worry about. Nothing new here.
What say you?
Something tells me that this will be a more difficult game for the Vols than last week’s opener. Why? For starters, it will be a bit of a short week (Sunday night game followed by a Saturday noon game). Plus, the noon game time is not a trivial thing to dismiss as a factor — it takes a while for the body clock to get set to be able to get totally ready, physically and mentally, for a game that is basically beginning on a Saturday morning. [Of course, this may be worse for our opponent since they have to travel, too.]
And, the crowd on a Saturday morning/afternoon will not be as rowdy as it was on a holiday-weekend Sunday night.
But there is also the opponent… Our defense will have more challenges with Arkansas State’s up-tempo offense. And, I think Arkansas State could handle Utah State (and they will get their chance on Saturday September 20 in Jonesboro, Arkansas).
So there you go… my crystal ball says Tennessee 31 Arkansas State 20.
What say you?
Not much, which is why I went to the internet for some factual information of the last three seasons, which is of a nature to make a repeatable template…
2011: Hugh Freeze, formerly Arkansas State’s OC, coached the Red Wolves for only this single season. 10-2 record (8-0 in Sun Belt Conference) and conference champs. They lost to Northern Illinois in the GoDaddy.com Bowl without Freeze — he resigned to take the Ole Miss job.
2012: Gus Malzahn, formerly Auburn’s OC, coached the Red Wolves for only this single season. 9-3 record (7-1 in the Sun Belt Conference) and conference champs. They beat Kent State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl without Malzahn– he resigned to take the Auburn job.
2013: Bryan Harsin, formerly Texas’ OC, coached the Red Wolves for only this single season. 7-5 record (5-2 in the Sun Belt Conference) and conference co-champs. They beat Ball State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl without Harsin — he resigned to take the Boise State job.
2014: Blake Anderson, formerly North Carolina’s OC, coached the Red Wolves………………………
Truly amazing stuff.
So, what do you know about Arkansas State? Go find something and report back!
A lot of positives came out of the Utah State game — positives that I think that can carry on at some significant level for the entire season.
But there is one negative that is going to kill us this season: We Can’t Run The Football.
Throw in a sorry performance by special teams, and ol’ George Cafego ain’t getting much rest down in the ground either.
What say you?