It’s Homecoming Time in Tennessee as the Vols take on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles this Saturday night at Neyland Stadium!
It’s so nice to be able to enjoy all the festivities and tradition that a Tennessee Homecoming game brings without having to worry about any drama, instability or criticism surrounding the football program!
“Hey idiot, have you actually been in a coma since September?”
What? Nonsense! Everything is absolutely fine! We’re in the middle of a five-game playoff, I’ve heard! So that must mean Tennessee is in good shape!
“HEY DUMBASS! TENNESSEE IS 3-5, JUST LOST TO KENTUCKY AT KROGER FIELD, IS REPORTEDLY BEING INVESTIGATED FOR LETTING BRETT KENDRICK PLAY NEARLY AN ENTIRE HALF WITH A CONCUSSION AND BUTCH JONES IS STILL THE COACH!”
Haha, my friend, you seemed to have left your caps lock on! Who’s the real dumbass in this situation?
“Ugh, just write your stupid article about Tennessee’s foolproof plan to beat Southern Miss.”
I’m right with you!
Hey, congrats to the Tennessee offense on finally reaching the end zone after a 15-quarter drought last week against Kentucky!
To not lose to Southern Miss, it will be kind of important for Tennessee to keep up this trend of actually getting six points on the scoreboard. This is a fascinating strategy, I know — you can thank me later.
One of the key reasons that Tennessee lost to Kentucky for only the second time since Ronald F’n Reagan last week was its offense being forced to attempt six field goals and not convert drives into touchdowns. Brent Cimaglia made four field goals, which is good! However, he missed two of his six attempts, which (especially in a three-point loss) is not good!
The Vols scored two touchdowns against the Wildcats, both being Ty Chandler runs from one yard out. When Tennessee gets in the red zone against Southern Miss, it will be paramount that it can finish with six points instead of three and improve upon a red zone offense that ranks No. 105 in the FBS.
Southern Miss isn’t a pushover when it comes to allowing scores in the red zone, though. The Golden Eagles are tied with Ohio State for the No. 9 red zone defense in the nation.
True freshman running back Ty Chandler was forced into the starting spot against Kentucky due to John Kelly’s suspension and made the most of his increased workload, rushing for 120 yards and two scores on 22 carries.
I’m not saying that Chandler should start on Saturday, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt if he did. Also, it would make sense, especially if the coaching staff feels like Kelly needs to “earn” his starting spot back.
Even if Kelly does start, Chandler needs to get 12-15 touches in the game. Chandler earned an increased role in the offense after last week and showed that he should have been getting more touches in previous games.
The Nashville native averaged just under five touches per game through the Vols’ first seven contests and didn’t make too much of an impact as a result.
Now that everyone has seen what he can do in a more important role, it’s time to let him loose.
DON’T GET BENNY SNELL’D
While Tennessee has one of the best passing defenses in the country, its rushing defense isn’t up to par.
This fault was exposed against Kentucky when the Wildcats’ Benny Snell rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries, gashing the Vols’ front-seven throughout the game.
Southern Miss brings a fearsome rusher in senior Ito Smith, who is No. 24 of all FBS rushers with 817 yards this season, even ahead of Penn State’s Saquon Barkley.
Smith is on pace to record his third-straight 1,000 yard rushing season, but he has been struggling recently, averaging just 42 yards per game against Louisiana Tech and UAB the past two weeks. Another boost for Tennessee’s confidence is the fact that the other SEC team Smith has faced, Kentucky, held him to 37 yards on 16 carries.
The only other guy named Ito that I’ve ever heard of is the infamous O.J. Simpson Trial judge, Lance Ito, so here’s hoping that defensive coordinator Bob Shoop doesn’t let the Golden Eagles get away with murdering his defense this Saturday.