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Tennessee Crystal Ball: Predicting every game for 2023

Aug 20, 2023

Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s annual Crystal Ball series continues today with Tennessee. We’ll stay with the SEC East all week. Last week, we predicted every game for every SEC West team.

Previously: Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Mississippi State | Ole Miss | Texas A&M | Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | Mizzou | South Carolina

* * * * * * *

Finally, it happened.

That’s the best way to sum up the 2022 Tennessee football season. Finally, a victory against Alabama. Finally, a No. 1 ranking. Finally, a national title conversation involving the Vols. Finally, relevance.

Of course, it would’ve been nice for Tennessee fans if “feels like ’98” didn’t die a painful death in Columbia in late-November. But at least it had life.

Josh Heupel had the No. 1 offense in America for a Tennessee team that had its best AP Poll finish in 19 years (No. 6). Winning 11 games and slaying the dragon that was Alabama for the first time since the George W. Bush administration was long overdue.

But in order to be “back,” one must stay relevant. That means moving past the loss of the best Tennessee quarterback since Peyton Manning. It means replacing a top-10 pick on the OL and finding answers when the Biletnikoff Award winner leaves for the NFL.

Can Tennessee use 2022 as a foundation season? Or was it a long overdue one-off season?

Let’s peak into the 2023 Crystal Ball:

For the third time, Milton will try his hand at being a Power 5 starter. At Michigan, he lost his job because of on-field performance. At Tennessee in 2021, he had the QB1 title, but then got hurt and eventually lost his job to the more effective Hendon Hooker.

In Year 6, the Milton project will enter its final college chapter. The question isn’t physical ability. Lord knows that Milton’s well-documented arm strength will be on display, and whether it’s 85 or 90 yards, we don’t need any future clarification on how far he can throw a football. It’s far.

The question is if Milton, who took some great steps down the stretch last year in place of the injured Hooker, can become the next prolific Heupel quarterback for an entire season. Above all else, the accuracy has to improve. That will determines whether Heupel has his 6th consecutive top-8 scoring offense. It won’t be whether Milton goes viral for some 83-yard throw in the middle of a game against UConn.

If Milton can’t lock down the starting job and live up to that high standard, he’ll give way to decorated 5-star freshman Nico Iamaleava, who has reportedly been making significant strides in fall camp.

Can Milton maximize his talent and live up to that lofty preseason All-SEC billing? That’s not a guarantee, but he’s as intriguing of a player as there is in the SEC in 2023.

It’s pretty wild to think that aforementioned Biletnikoff Award winner Jalin Hyatt and fellow second day NFL Draft selection Cedric Tillman are both gone, and it still feels like Tennessee has one of the best pass-catching groups in the SEC.

There are 4 legitimate studs to throw to: Bru McCoy, Squirrel White, Ramel Keyton and Oregon transfer Dont’e Thornton all have major expectations.

McCoy is the most proven guy in the room as the former 5-star recruit who played a pivotal role after transferring from USC. Keyton has been there the longest entering Year 5, and no returning pass-catcher on the team had more touchdowns (5) than he did last year. White really took off down the stretch. White only had 1 game with 20 snaps in the first 11 weeks of the season, yet he finished the year with more 40-yard catches of any returning SEC receiver (6). Among all SEC receivers in 2022, only Hyatt had more 40-yard grabs.

And with all that being said, there’s some buzz that Thornton could be the guy who really pops in this offense. The speedy downfield threat might be the best combination of White and McCoy. He doesn’t, however, have the reps with Milton that White does and wasn’t a very high-volume player at Oregon (he had 17 catches for 366 yards in 2023).

No matter who the new go-to guy is, it’s worth noting that each of Heupel’s last 4 offenses all had at least 1 1,000-yard receiver. It feels inevitable that one of those 4 — or maybe someone else — will join that conversation.

I’ll give Banks credit for a few things. Tennessee was No. 21 in FBS against the run, and it was in the top half of the SEC in yards/play allowed. It had 4 games in which it held a Power 5 opponent to 14 points or less. Tennessee’s defense did what you’d hope any team with a No. 1 offense would do. That is, at least flirt with mediocrity.

But at the same time, it wasn’t exactly a steady unit. The South Carolina game stands out, but the blown lead nearly cost the Vols the Alabama win, and allowing an average of 30 points to Florida and Georgia wasn’t ideal.

Even if Tennessee’s high-powered offense only takes a slight step back, Banks’ unit could benefit from a bit more consistency. The good news is that there’s a lot of experience in that group. It ranks No. 24 in Bill Connelly’s updated percentage of returning production.

In addition to All-SEC linebacker Aaron Beasley and veteran defensive end Tyler Baron, the Vols have a secondary full of seniors. Seniors Doneiko Slaughter, Tamarion McDonald and Kamal Hadden are all back, and Tennessee added BYU corner Gabe Jeudy-Lally.

That group wasn’t as bad as what the raw numbers indicated — Tennessee was No. 127 in passing yards allowed/game but was No. 58 in yards/pass attempt — but it still has to take another step in order for the Vols to stay in the SEC East race.

In an effort to ease Milton into the offense, Heupel turns to the Jabari Small/Jaylen Wright combination early and often. That opens the door for a long over-the-top connection to White. The Vols kick off the season right where the left off with a blowout, neutral site win against an ACC foe.

Yes, we get the first look of Iamaleava in live action. He only gets to throw a handful of passes in garbage time, but they have the Tennessee faithful buzzing at the end of a lopsided victory.

It’s been 20 years since Tennessee won in Gainesville. Twenty. Yes, this should be the most lopsided the rivalry has been in Tennessee’s favor during that stretch. No, that doesn’t guarantee that the Vols finally get it done in The Swamp. My thinking? This is the game in which Billy Napier’s hire of DC Austin Armstrong looks like a godsend. Instead of the Vols pushing Florida around in their own building, a pair of Milton overthrows turn into interceptions that set up Gators touchdown drives. The Vols’ lack of defensive discipline proves costly and Florida RB Trevor Etienne runs for 150. Tennessee’s losing streak in The Swamp officially passes the 2-decade mark.

Yes, it’s a tricky matchup for Tennessee. It’s an 11-win team that ranks in the top 1/4 in FBS in percentage of returning production. But after a deflating loss at Florida, the Vols come out swinging. Thornton and Keyton both get loose for long scores while McCoy continues to be a matchup nightmare in the intermediate passing game. Milton plays his most impressive game of the young season and the Vols bounce back in a big way.

You thought last year was a fluke? Nope. With so many of those pieces back from last year’s stunner in Columbia, South Carolina does the unthinkable again. This time, Spencer Rattler doesn’t play perfect. He throws 2 interceptions, but he also delivers touchdown passes to South Carolina WR Juice Wells and tight end transfer Trey Knox. A revenge game for Tennessee follows a frustrating script. Milton’s fast start fades and Tennessee is forced to turn into a 1-dimensional offense. The Gamecocks pounce on a pair of fumbles, the second of which sets up a game-winning field goal in the final minute. The Vols lose at home for the first time since November 2021.

All of A&M’s good early-season vibes that yielded a top-10 ranking go out the window in Knoxville. Fresh off a bye week, Heupel recognizes the brutal 3-game stretch the Aggies are at the end of, and he makes it a ground-heavy attack. Wright, Small and Milton all prove to be a nightmare for A&M to slow down. A game that enters as a juicy top-15 matchup turns into a blowout in a hurry. A&M limps into the bye week while Tennessee plows through to its Alabama showdown.

It’s not an Alabama revenge tour if there’s not, you know, revenge. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect Alabama to totally flip the script on the high-scoring Heupel offense, but I see this becoming a big Malachi Moore game. Instead of letting the slot receiver dominate all game like Hyatt did last year, Nick Saban makes sure those mismatches aren’t there and Milton ends up forcing throws. Turnovers kill the Vols’ chances of becoming the first team to beat Alabama in consecutive years since 2014-15 Ole Miss.

If there’s a coach in the SEC who has totally baffled the Mark Stoops-Brad White defense, it’s Heupel. A 45-point showing in Lexington was followed by Tennessee’s 44-point knockout last year in Knoxville. The chunk plays tipped the scales in the Vols’ favor both times. This time, it’s not necessarily an offensive explosion from the Vols, but chunk plays again prove to be the difference. White gets free for 2 long touchdowns and UK quarterback Devin Leary struggles to keep pace. Tennessee keeps Kentucky at an uphill climb all day and uses the 3-headed rushing attack late to keep the Cats off the field for a potential game-tying drive. Heupel improves to 3-0 against Stoops.

The Iamaleava game. It’s happening. On the heels of a physical 3-game stretch, Heupel announces early in the week that Iamaleava will get his first career start and that Milton will return the following weekend. Early on, UConn looks like a team thriving off disrespect. The Huskies intercept Iamaleava on his first drive and go into the second quarter up 10-7. But the Vols’ ground attack then does the heavy lifting. Iamaleava finds White streaking down the right sideline to put an exclamation point on his first career victory as a starter.

A well-rested Milton comes out firing against a risk-taking Mizzou secondary. That proves costly for the home team. Mizzou bites on a couple of hitch-and-go routes and White gets loose twice in the first half. That puts Mizzou QB Sam Horn in some obvious passing situations, which allows that experienced Tennessee secondary to play aggressively. Horn is picked off 3 times in his second consecutive rough showing while the Vols avoid a trap game ahead of Georgia.

Last year, I told anyone who would listen that Tennessee was gonna go into Athens and win. Foot, meet mouth. Maybe I was a year early on that, but I can’t double down. A back-and-forth first half has Neyland buzzing with the Vols showing offensive life earlier than last year’s loss in Athens. But unlike last year when Georgia was content to grind it out amidst rainy conditions, Kirby Smart leaves no doubt. Georgia QB Carson Beck picks apart the Tennessee secondary to continue his stellar season, and Dan Jackson makes a ball-separating hit that leads to a pivotal turnover late. Heupel still can’t get over the Georgia hump.

Dare I say, for the first time in 7 years, we get a relatively close game. On the heels of an emotional loss to Georgia, Tennessee doesn’t come out firing on all cylinders. CJ Taylor, who reportedly turned down NIL opportunities to transfer to Tennessee, has a big day all over the field. He has an interception and a sack of Milton to keep the Vols’ offense flustered. But once again, Tennessee turns to the ground attack to save the day. This time, however, it’s Dylan Sampson who steals the show. He reaches pay dirt twice and the Vols pull away for a 35-21 win.

A couple things.

I know that 8-4 would be considered a setback. But playing in a Florida bowl game with a potential win No. 9 and a spot in the AP Top 25 up for grabs wouldn’t be a sign that the sky is falling. It would be a reminder that these things aren’t always linear. Repeating last year’s success is going to be extremely difficult with the pieces the Vols lost on offense. Having to get through Alabama and Georgia on an annual basis is a challenge that only a handful of teams can speak on.

What Tennessee can establish this year is that even a project like Milton can turn into a star with Heupel. It can continue to send a loud message to transfer receivers that it’s an ideal location. To have 20 wins over a 2-year stretch would be something the Vols haven’t done in 19 years. That’s still significant.

But yeah, Heupel’s approval rating would take a hit if he went 0-3 against Alabama, Florida and Georgia. If it’s more struggles in Gainesville and another humbling loss to Georgia, some will begin to wonder what exactly his long-term upside is. That comes with the territory. It’s what he signed up for. A 2-7 start against those 3 teams isn’t what he or any Tennessee fan has in mind.

I get that. I also get that life could be a whole lot worse. If the Vols are playing fun, high-scoring games while actually looking the part of a Top 25 team throughout the season, that’s not a sign that the program is reverting back to irrelevance.

It just won’t feel like ’98.

Tennessee sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020. Tennessee was the first SEC state to legalize sports betting.

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Their SEC schedule is brutal. Alabama and the Aggies from the West is tough. My initial reaction was that 8-4 is too low. Looking at the schedule, it may be correct, even though I would probably go with 9-3.

Getting ATM at home is big. And no way we lose again to the most overhyped team in the SEC the cocks. Not happening.The most logical guess is 9-3 or 10-2. Winning in bammer will be a tough chore and we’re not quite at the talent level YET for the leghumpers.

UT has 2 weeks to prepare for ATM. Bama is as gettable as they have ever been in all the years Saban has been there. Milroe while good is not great and even Bama fans will agree teh QB situation there makes them uneasy.

bammer will play bully ball this year and they have the studs to do it. They will be very difficult for any team they play.

Let em. The strength of our Defense last year was Run Defense. 2nd in SEC in that statistic and didn’t lose anyone from that DLine except BY and he was an edge rusher

Strength. I don’t think this word means what you think it means

TN = Strength = Defense

Now, that’s a bold prediction!

Legend has it the touchdown fireworks are still going off- and there’s another touchdown pass from Rattler. Can’t underestimate any team but I think the Vols could shock the world and beat UGA.

Actually, Carolina ran out of fireworks.

Tennessee never did.

Not that game crankE. South Carolina scored 4 touchdowns in the 4th. No slowing down. If you mean after that game, we’ll, that didn’t matter to the outcome of that game.

LOL. Gotta imagine that game wont be lost by Tennesse haha

Legend also has it that Jalen Hyatt just scored AGAIN on the gump’s secondary!

In all honesty, we should put Bama away in the second quarter when it was 28-10. That didn’t happen because of how thin TN’s secondary was. Not even full rotations. Hard to win like that. That won’t be the case this year. I think TN wins by 7 at Bama. If you can’t throw the ball, you can’t beat TN. I don’t think Milroe makes it to the TN game without being benched first. If you can’t run on Texas, your going to lose to them. Same with TN, LSU and maybe AU.

It’s delusional to believe Alabama in T-Town will be easy for Tennessee to beat.

I agree. Your team will embarrass Conner’s forecast (which isn’t hard to do). 9/3 is the floor and the Vols are likely to do better than that.

‘most overhyped team in the SEC’?

That’s the exact proper label for Tennessee since 2008.Complete another good year back to back before you start acting like you are Alabama or Georgia.

That Georgia State loss in 2019 isn’t that long ago.

No, actually that was a lifetime ago! Comparing this team to the 2019 team is really stupid, but maybe that’s what you were going for.

What’s the deal, are you afraid to identify with your team, or you just like being an annoying troll?

Acting like Alabama or Georgia? No TN fan thinks this. Expecting to beat teams like SC and Mizzou is NOT unreasonable.

Paying to get Army off your schedule – in 2022, last year – is Heupel’s / UTs legacy until y’all win something, playoff game, SEC, the East…something

Literally NOBODY is surprised by your picks you dbag. Again, sorry some UT guy stole your girl and your lunch money. But at the end of the year once again you will look foolish. Or as many know, normal for you.

Ya’ll made Connor mad. He is not respecting TN at all.

he picked tn to go 10-2 last year with a win over uga. o’gara is hardly a tn hater.

ps, he was right about the final record…so not so sure about the ‘once again he’ll look foolish.’

Whatever man. Dude writes neg on UT almost always. Like I said and have said many times, a UT guy stole his girl sometime in the past.

He’s realistic

@SupraDawg, do you see many Tennessee fans on here being realistic this year? Those cigars they smoked after beat Bama were laced with something that’s still affecting them.

I just don’t see the Vols losing to the coots or the gators. Respectfully Bama (L), UGA (L) but very close, aTm (Tossup); the rest should be solid wins.

I also don’t see Milton as QB1 for the season; I think he gets benched again and Nico takes over, before the Dawgs come to town.

Thank you! This is my expectation as well. We very well could lose to either SC or FL but not both. No idea what we’re getting with A&M but it is at home coming off of a bye.

I’m not sure what to make of Milton, but if he’s bad enough to get benched for a freshman, then 8-4 is likely considering.

I expect ky to be more of a challenge this year than SC. I also expect we will beat one of bama or ga. But we could stub our tie against someone else. Ogara has been down on Milton and UT all preseason so his picks here are at least consistent. 8-4 is certainly possible but so is 10-2. Almost time to find out.

KY will be a tough game especially after the game at Bama. That UF game still is worrisome, even though UF is down, Gainesville has been a house of horrors for UT the last 20 years.

Tennessee guy stole your girlfriend? Beat you up and took your lunch money? Make fun of yo Mama?

Just don’t get why this guy is so incapable of writing about Tennessee without getting his undies twisted. This is a Tennessee team that is going to very likely be better than last year’s team. I get how that’s hard to accept for many people but all the pieces are there and despite what O’ Gaga says here, the schedule sets up very nicely for the Vols.

So as Will Smith—or Tua would say…

“Keep Tennessee out of your mouth.”

No freaking way this team loses to Florida and South Carolina.

Despite what everyone is predicting about that Florida game, we’re going to beat them convincingly…and as for Carolina we seriously might beat them by 50 points.

Have to make up for them scoring 60 last time right?

I like it when we score 52 and the lovers have 49. Don’t you melch?

Alabama going to use Tennessee as a crash test dummy this season

I like to think about a 16 year old only had to experience losing to the Vols once.

The fans can’t get too wrapped up if UT doesn’t match last year. CJH is only starting his third year and still has shortfalls in recruiting. The transfer portal has been both good and bad for UT, as has the NIL circus. Certainly every team has had to adjust to the new era of CFB. Give UT and CJH another year or two recruiting before screaming. UGA dominated UT last year in the trenches with the 4/5 *s CKS has recruited over his tenure. CKS has been at UGA for six seasons and that continuity has certainly paid dividends in recruiting.

As far as the individual games go, if USCe plays like they did last year against UT/Clemson, they can certainly win. The question is which USE]Ce team shows up? I also don’t see UT falling flat on its face on the defensive side of the ball like last year.

Alabama is almost impossible to beat anytime, especially at home. If the new QB struggles, UT has a chance, but you know Bama will be eating raw hamburger getting ready for this one.

I believe UT can/should beat UF this year. Having said that, I thought UT would win against UGA last year. I did not give enough credit to the UGA lines, and of course Bennett could do no wrong.

Anyway, season starts tomorrow. Finally released from Purgatory.

Great realistic layout, the Vols have the potential to knock off both Alabama and Georgia but they have to play to it. Give it a few seasons and UT will be predicted to beat the Tide and Dawgs.

I just don’t see South Carolina walking out of Neyland Stadium with a win. I think they’re good, but I think Tennessee is better.

Also don’t see the Vols losing to Florida, but at least that’s a road game.

As long as TN. covers those receivers better this time they won’t.

i don’t see sc walking out of neyland with a ‘w’ either. i can’t recall a team getting more mileage out of a single victory than what sc has gotten over the last year with that win against tn. teams have typically gotten over-credit for wins against bama the last 15 yrs in supporting future expectations, but the hype that sc has gotten from that one game is just silly.

It’s not just the whooping they put on TN, it’s the follow-up game where they beat Clemson. TN was a huge talking point last season and once GA took their place back at the head of the table (which should have been theirs all along) following the TN game, it became a point of can TN make the playoffs with only the loss to GA? SC stopped any hope of TN making the playoffs. You’re right. They have gotten their mileage out of it and are running on fumes.

That’s just the way the coots roll. They typically get more mileage outta one or two wins (they shouldn’t have gotten) in any given season. Heck, they’re still dancing on Bull St in Columbia for tripping up the Dawgs in 2019 and that’s after the Dawgs have skull dragged em every time since.

Remember this is a fan base and local media that has no history of sustained success outside of three yrs with the HBC and even then couldn’t win the SEC. Think Vanderbilt with a punk kid attitude that can lay a haymaker once every 4-5 yrs.

Except they also turned around and beat Clemson.

And Tenn keeps using that game as a turning point as well. So… there is that.

This narrative that Milton because he lost the starting job in 2021 is reason why he will not be good this year is way over blown. You have to remember that Milton came to UT in 2021 very late in the Summer and only had maybe 2.5 months to learn the system and get cohesion with the receivers. That is not enough time. Hooker came in that January 2021 and went through spring and summer camps. Why Heup decided to go with Milton to start 2021 was that Milton has more upside and he still does now. Milton now has 3 years in this Heupel system and the cohesion with the receivers is evident now. I like the 10-2 range, but 12-0 is not out of the realm of possibility for UT this year.

I agree. He’s now had multiple years to learn and get comfortable with the offense, and he looked great against Clemson. I believe he’ll do a great job this season. I just hope he stumbles in Lexington.

Ooooh wheee comments gone be good on this one!

They sure are m’lady. Top tier entertainment right here.

Ceiling – 11-1Floor – 8-4My guess – 10-2 (Bama/GA losses)

I wish MTSU a ton of luck next week.

Who was the DC at Miami last year when MTSU upset Miami????

Thank you ma’am. Honestly this team looks like it could make a stupid run and flirt with a national championship bid if everything falls right. Heupel has been doing some good work in Knoxville. I don’t see this team even entertaining the idea of 4 losses but you never know. Welcome to Satudays!


Like a phoenix rising from the ashes…..

I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to watch Vandy play ball. And I’m hoping Navy just plows over Notre Dame.

Anchor Down boys, all of the SEC is with you Vandy. It’s finally here. An ND beat down would be hilarious.

I don’t agree with the specifics of these predictions but 8-4 is possible. It would be incredibly disappointing as it would mean the Vols would lose multiple games they would be favored to win. I think 9-3 (or better) is more likely. IMO it is unlikely the UT loses to both UF and USC this season, maybe one of them. You could argue that UK, TXAM, or even UTSA are going to be just as tough to play. If Milton plays to the level he has the potential to and the defense does not take a step back, 9-3 is very likely.

The game I hope you’re wrong about is Florida. I root for 2 teams, The Dawgs and whoever plays UF. Let’s go Utues!

I’m pulling for Utah as well.

I’d agree with that “rock”. I generally like to see the Vols do well, except for one game! I do however root for three teams, The Dawgs, whoever plays UF (Go Utes), and whoever plays the coots (go UNC).

I have Tennessee 2nd in the East, with a record better than 8-4. Maybe 9-3 or 10-2. I like what Beamer is doing at South Carolina, but with the lack of returning production I think it will be hard for them to finish 2nd. Georgia, then Tennessee, then it’s anyone’s guess for 3rd. Could be Carolina, could be Kentucky. Could be a surprise.

10-2. Losses to Georgia and Bama. Was gonna say 9-3 but I don’t think we’re losing to the Gators. I believe in Joe Milton

9-3 with losses to A&M, Bama, and UGA.

That’s a really good season for the Vols with a chance for 10 wins in the bowl game and probably a spot between #10-#15 in the final poll.

My only beef is with the prediction that the Chickins will win in Neyland. They have only won there 3 times, and this year won’t be the 4th. It will be QUITE hostile.

As above, 11-1 or even 9-3 yeah, but 8-4?

Yeah, if UT loses to USC at HOME after last year, that would be very demoralizing…even after a win at the Swamp.

UT should mop the floor with the chickens.

Then they have to face ATM, Bama, and KY :)

i know my comment will be buried, but personally i’m happy to see tn on their way up. it’s good for the conference and cfb in general. obviously i’ll root for uga to beat them.let’s all remember to be humble and not let the outcomes of a sport played by 18-22 (26??) year olds determine our well being. cheers yall

This and the Eagles season is gonna determine my well being regardless, not that I necessarily want it to, just happens that way.

Why would you root for Boston College?

12-0 baby the orange kool aid is flowing

SCAR returns 7 starters, FL returns 9 starters. I would think Kentucky would be more of a threat than those two teams.

Predicting games is one thing. But these predictions, based on imaginary game scenarios dreamed up by the writer? Just plain stupid.

Can’t see Fla beating Tenn. They don’t have enough offense. SC only wins vs Tenn ( or anybody) if Rattler plays like he did at the end of last season. I believe Tenn will 9-1 before their loss to the Dawgs.

Yeah. This sounds about right. I hope for better, and I agree UT can’t really be back until there’s a winning consistency. There have been so many seasons of losing to Bama, UGa, and UF that I’m gun shy about hoping for back to back seasons of multiple wins against those teams.

UT will skull drag South Carolina. Book it! Their fans know what’s coming. They won’t admit it, but they know it’s coming.

Brutal schedule for UT.

They may beat UF and USC, but not all of the other ones too!

2-3 Ls for for the Volunteers unless their D steps up and surprises everyone.

It happens.

Go Dawgs.

Funny, I feel the same way about UGA. A loss or two in the regular season than early out in the playoffs or loss in the SECCG should they get there. Beck is all hype until we see how that offense runs without Monken and even with Monken,the passing scoring offense wasn’t good. 36th over those three years Monken was there and that is with cake regular season schedules. The TN D will be better and it was an elite redzone D. Yards aren’t scores. The secondary played good in certain games, LSU, Clemson and others. But being as thin as it was, without rotations, you can only go so far. Full rotations this year with so many db’s? Should bring us up quite a bit for passing D. I will predict that Beck will throw more INT’s than Joe vs SC. And probably for the season just because of the styles of offense.

Well, I guess you aren’t on the “cakewalk” bandwagon then.Good For You.

Your QB is all hype too.Unless you are going to throw 80 yard bombs all year…But hey, you may.

Bottom line is if UT’s D doesn’t improve, it doesn’t matter how good their Quarterback is…

Beck will be fine, thank you.

The bush league antiquated hurry up garbage will not work long term in this league.

You just focus on basketball. We smoke y’all in that too

Look 8 titsYou come on most UT articles and post nonsensical troll posts and then disappear when someone points out why your post is nonsense. Man up and show your work. Stop being such an immature child. Most ky fans on here post solid opinions that we may not agree with but at least they are more than your ignorant BS.

The bush league antiquated O has not been stopped much at all by anyone except a very good ga team that could have stopped several nfl teams. It certainly has been more than good enough to beat a very good D coach in stoops so how about a reason for your opinion other than you hate UT. I do t care about your gate. We all hate other teams. But stop being such a jerk.

Kinda like how Tennessee doesn’t play “real football” lmfao!!

Lol we ain’t losing to gaytors

Missouri has won 5 of the meetings, Tennessee has won 5 of the meetings.

I hope you enjoyed those 5 wins y’all got while we were in an all time low for the program. Pssst those days are over…The question is will we hang 60 on y’all three years in a row?

I am a VOLS fan but please stop mentioning 98. It’s just kind of sad at this point.

Wow, I think o’Gara mistitled his piece. This should be called, Bold predictions. lol. In twenty years of football for UF, the Gators haven’t been this much in disarray. I know home-field means something but it can’t mean everything. This defense found a way to lose to Vandy and who else? Also, Joe is going to toss to INT’s? Joe doesn’t throw them because he’s not asked to do anything that isn’t a 1st or 2nd read. Same with Hooker and it’s just the style of the offense.SC beating TN in Neyland. That’s two highly doubts. Rattler has half the targets he did last year to throw to and only in one game did he hit them. Also, run game issues, major ones. TN is just a different team at home and it’s a revenge game. So he has TN beating A&M at home but losing to SC at home. There is a vast difference in talent between A&M and SC. When A&M plays decent to good, they win games and capable of beating teams like LSU. SC when the secondary is open while Rattler is on, they can still lose games. 9-3 is likely the floor. An 8-4 for TN that does not include a loss to A&M is as less likely than TN going 10-2 or better. Also, if Joe was benched, all three QB would still play. Gaston Moore is more than capable of averaging the offense 35 a game. The offense may not be number one this season but it’ll be top five or ten and with an improved D, at worst 9-3 or better. There is no proof as far as data and record that would suggest Heupel and this staff would slide the far and the only thing in the past has or could cause it is another mass optout rona situation.

If Vol fans start giving Heupel the stink-eye over a potential ‘regression’ to 9 or so wins, then they deserve what they’ll get (which will look a lot like things did for the better part of two decades before Heupel’s arrival).

They won’t soooo…

I believe Bama will be playing their 8th game in a row which can’t hurt our chances. 8-4 is definitely possible but so far I have seen nothing from Heupel to suggest that he’s gonna take a step back this year. If we do lose to the cocks again that bodes well for them. GA is gonna b tough glad it’s in Neyland this year. 7 days can’t wait! Go Vols win em all!

If their passing game is 80% of last year’s team, there’s no way they’re losing 4 games. At best they lose two-us and Bama.