Vols Game Preview
Tennessee Volunteers (3-5, 0-5 SEC) vs Southern Miss Golden Eagles (5-3, 3-2 C-USA)
Saturday, November 4th, 7:30 PM (ET) on SEC Network
Neyland Stadium – Knoxville, Tennessee
What to watch for:
It’s been disaster after disaster for the Vols this season.
The latest came last Saturday as Tennessee fell to Kentucky in Lexington. The Vols had several chances to put the game away, but miscues by the offense routinely put Tennessee behind the eight-ball.
Team 121 forced four turnovers, held the Wildcats to only 82 yards passing and kept Kentucky to 3-7 on third downs. It seemed like Tennessee was finally about to get over the three-game losing skid. Then Stephen Johnson shifted into a whole other gear.
STEPHEN JOHNSON FLIES FOR THE GO AHEAD TOUCHDOWN! pic.twitter.com/MKXNGZGnbN
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) October 29, 2017
Kentucky scored with just 33 seconds left. Tennessee came close on the final play of the game, coming up just three yards short of a victory.
Too little, too late for the Vols. But there were some positives to take away.
Jarrett Guarantano seems to improve every game and Saturday was no different. He completed 18 of 23 passes for 242 yards. In his first start, Ty Chandler tallied 120 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. The defense looked great at some points in the game.
The liabilities, however, were magnified. The offensive line gave up seven sacks and Brett Kendrick reportedly played with a concussion for the entire second half.
Brett Kendrick early in the fourth quarter of the Kentucky game. Kid is a warrior. pic.twitter.com/SMD0t0gk5k
— zach ragan (@zachTNT) November 2, 2017
Tennessee has to play better. Plain and simple. Yes, they’re playing Southern Miss this weekend for homecoming, but this could be a trap game for the Vols.
Southern Miss rolls into Neyland Stadium having won three of their last four. The Golden Eagles bring in the third best defense in Conference USA against a Tennessee offense that has struggled all year long. It could be a long day for the Vols on homecoming.